Nigerian Air Force jet goes missing during support mission

Kenneth Iwelumo

A Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jet of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) went missing in Borno state, northeast Nigeria on March 31, 2021. 

According to Edward Gabkwet, the NAF spokesperson, the aircraft was carrying out a ground support mission against Islamic insurgents when radar contact was lost. The jihadist terrorist organization Boko Haram is known to operate in the region. A search and rescue operation was organized to locate the aircraft.

The Alpha Jet is a military aircraft jointly designed by the French manufacturer Dassault Aviation and the German plane maker Dornier during the 1970s. It is intended for training and ground attack, and is used by the French aerobatic team Patrouille de France. The NAF is operating the Alpha Jet since 1978 as a light attack aircraft.

It is the second crash involving a NAF aircraft in 2021. On February 21, 2021, a Beechcraft King Air 350i reconnaissance aircraft crashed as it was attempting to land at the airport in the capital city Abuja, after suffering an engine failure. The 7 crew members on board were killed.

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