A Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet involved in the anti-terror war against Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province has lost radar contact in Borno State.
NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, in a statement on Thursday, said the Alpha Jet lost radar contact on Wednesday evening.
According to Wikipedia, a radar system is used at airports to detect and display the presence and position of aircraft in the terminal area and the airspace around airports. It is the main air traffic control system for the airspace around airports.
Gabkwet said though the whereabouts of the attack jet was unknown as of the time of filing this report, search and rescue efforts were ongoing.
The NAF spokesman, however, did not disclose the number of officers onboard the yet-to-be-found jet.
The statement titled, ‘Nigerian Air Force Alpha-Jet Loses Radar Contact’, read, “A Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet has lost contact with radar in Borno State, while on interdiction mission in support of ground troops. The mission was part of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the North East. The loss of radar contact occurred at about 5:08 pm on 31 March 2021.
“Details of the whereabout of the aircraft or likely cause of contact loss are still sketchy but will be relayed to the general public as soon as they become clear. Meanwhile, search and rescue efforts are ongoing.”
Speaking with Reporters, a former military airport commandant, Group Captain John Ojikutu (retd.), said the jet must be missing, adding that when an aircraft loses radar and communication contact for more than 30 minutes, such aircraft must be declared missing.
It had been also reported that a NAF Beechcraft KingAir B350i crashed in Abuja in February with all seven officers onboard killed.
The jet en route Minna in Niger State crashed close to the runway of the Abuja airport after reporting engine failure.