- The Nigerian Air Force said a search and rescue operation has been launched to find its missing jet
- NAF's spokesman, Edward Gabkwet, said the plane went missing while on a mission to support ground troops fighting Boko Haram in Borno
- Gabkwet said the public will be updated as soon as the NAF gets new information regarding the incident
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has given an update regarding its Alpha-Jet which lost contact with radar in Borno state while on an interdiction mission in support of ground troops.
A statement sent to Legit.ng on Thursday, April 1, by Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the NAF's director of public relations and information, indicates that the mission was part of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the northeast.
The loss of radar contact, according to the statement, occurred at about 5.08pm on Wednesday, March 31.
Details of the whereabouts 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.
Gabkwet stated that search and rescue efforts are ongoing.
The statement reads:
"A Nigerian Air Force (NAF) 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."
The NAF spokesman had similarly stated earlier in a tweet that the aircraft was on a routine mission in support of the ground troops at one of the Theatres of Operation in the northern part of Nigeria.
Legit.ng notes that the incident comes weeks after a NAF Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft crashed on Sunday, February 21, in Abuja.
The aircraft crashed while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport after reporting engine failure en-route Minna.
All seven of the NAF personnel on board the aircraft died and have since been buried after throwing the entire nation into shock.