The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has adapted its L-39ZA trainer aircraft for combat role. The decision was informed by the need to commit more platforms to the various Internal Security Operations in which the NAF is currently engaged. Hitherto, the NAF had employed the L-39ZA aircraft solely for basic flying training though the aircraft is capable of undertaking light ground attack.
However, this combat capability of the aircraft was never exploited before now because of the role to which it was employed.
Preparatory to the new role, the NAF successfully test fired the weaponised aircraft fitted with rockets and canons. The firing display, as shown in the enclosed declassified footage, was conducted at NAF Air Range in Kwenev, Makurdi, Benue State.
This feat marks another milestone in the drive by the current leadership of the NAF to achieve self reliance through research and development. Recall that the L-39ZA aircraft was inducted into NAF inventory as a basic trainer in November 1986. While retaining this role, it has now been adapted to undertake light ground attack.
Group Captain Director of Public Relations & Information