A Nigerian Air Force ATR 42-500MP ISR/transport aircraft has arrived in Germany for an MRO operation.
The ATR 42-500MP aircraft’s (serial number: NAF-930) was first spotted by Scramble Magazine an international aviation spotting organization on 16 September.
Photographs released on social media by Scramble Magazine suggests that the aircraft will undergo a maintenance operation to be conducted by Rheinland Air Service (RAS) at Mönchengladbach.
The NAF 930 arrived Germany through Alger/Houari Boumediene in Algeria.
The Nigerian Air Force currently possesses two (NAF 960 and NAF 931) ATR 42-500MP aircrafts primarily used for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions as well as performing limited transport duties.
Both aircraft were assigned to the 81 Air Maritime Group based at Benin, Edo state but are usually deployed with the 75 Strike Group (75 STG) in Yola as part of the Lafiya Dole Air Task Force (ATF).
According to a top level official of the Nigerian Air Force who spoke with Military Africa, the NAF 930 would undergo a major Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) operation at the Rheinland Air Service (RAS) facility at mönchengladbach, Germany.
RAS is one of three companies worldwide certified for the repair and overhaul of control elements, such as landing flaps.
Also, he believes that the NAF 930 may undergo an equipment upgrade at the Aerodata AG, a private owned company widely known for its airborne special mission solutions or “AeroMission”. AeroMission is a sophisticated solution for special mission aircrafts in ISR, coastal control and search and rescue.
A product currently expected to be fitted is the revolutionary OctoPOD, a mounted aerospace surveillance jointly developed by AeroData and OPTIMARE.
OctoPOD enables multisensor-based-airborne-surveilance-operation.
Alenia Aeronautica delivered the first of two ATR 42-500MP (Maritime Patrol) aircraft, as part of the contract signed in March 2007.
The Nigerian ATR 42MPs is similar to that in service with the Italian Guardia di Finanza.
It is currently equipped with a Galileo Avionica airborne tactical observation and surveillance system that includes search radar and an EOST-45 electro-optic surveillance and tracking sensor.
However, unlike the Italian aircraft, the Nigerian ATRs have a hatch that can be opened in flight on the cabin floor for SAR and air-drop use.