The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has reactivated a C-130H Hercules transport aircraft to further boost the Service’s operational capabilities.
The roll-out ceremony of C-130 Hercules aircraft (NAF918), was held on Wednesday 25 January 2023 at the 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot, NAF, Ikeja, Lagos.
NAF 918 began PDM in the first quarter of 2021, and the reactivation was carried out with assistance from Pakistani Air Force (PAF) Technical Assistance Group.
PDM is a calendar inspection conducted at six year intervals or after 5 000 flying hours.
The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, of the Ministry of Defence, Dr Ibrahim Abubakar Kana, said he was pleased with the effort, and that he urged NAF personnel to remain loyal and committed as well as ensure safe operations and maintenance of the Service platforms.
He said these additional platforms, he said would further boost the Service’s operational capabilities, and the reactivated C-130H aircraft resonates with his vision to enhance and sustain NAF critical airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of national security imperatives.
Nigeria had acquired at least six Lockheed C-130 Hercules between 1975 and 1976; NAF910, NAF911 (lost in September 1992 air crash), NAF912, NAF913, NAF914 and NAF915 while stretch version C-130H-30 were delivered in 1985; NAF916, NAF917 and NAF918.
In December 2020, three former Nigerian Air Force C-130H Hercules transport aircraft which have been stored for many years and have many parts removed were offered for sale for $2.5 million.
Operational C-130 aircraft are operated by the Air Force 301 Heavy Airlift Group Ikeja Lagos, in support of humanitarian and combat operations.
Before this, another NAF C-130s (913 and 917) were earlier reactivated with assistance from the PAF TAG.
In January 2020, NAF C-130 (913) was reactivated after completing in-country Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) at 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot in Ikeja. This was the second C-130H to be reactivated, following the return to service of NAF 917 in June 2019.
On 24 June, 2019 the Nigerian Air Force celebrated the first successful in-country completion of periodic depot maintenance (PDM) on a C-130 Hercules transport (NAF 917).
The local reactivation of NAF 917 was carried out by Sabena Technic in conjunction with NAF engineers and technicians, and involved extensive disassembly of the aircraft as well as inspection, repair and overhaul of components. The involvement of NAF personnel in the reactivation was to further expose them to every stage of the in-depth maintenance process, with a view to building the NAF’s inherent maintenance capabilities, the NAF said.
Pakistani Shaheen Foundation and PAF (SF-PAF) are in partnership with the NAf to conduct structured in-class and On-the-Job Training (OJT) to build the capacity of 19 NAF technicians, whilst refreshing their knowledge on Airframe, Avionics/Electrical and Power Plant.
NAF personnel have also been trained in de-painting, chemical mixtures and painting, and the agreement included the provision of some specialized ground support equipment fabricated by the SF-PAF Team during the PDM as well as the reactivation of unserviceable Hangar infrastructure, some of which had not been in use since the 1970s.