Thursday, September 26, 2013

► NIGER: Air Force's two Diamond DA42s' upgrade to be footed by the US Navy.

Nigerien Air ForceThe US Navy will reportedly foot the bill for an upgrade to the Nigerien Air Forces' fleet of two Diamond Aircraft DA42 surveillance aircraft, (MSN ? | 5U-MRX) & (MSN ? | 5U-MRZ), used for border surveillance missions to inhibit smuggling and to protect critical infrastructures.

Diamond Aircraft DA42
FlightGlobal writes that the specifications of the upgrade are listed as one aircraft being outfitted with an L-3 Wescam MX-15 electro-optical/infrared sensor with a range-finding laser, plus data transmission and encryption capabilities and new operator display screens, while the second will be outfitted with satellite communications equipment and radios.

The upgrade had also included provision for the improvement of two (2) existing fixed ground stations, and procurement of two (2) portable ground stations.

On the back of growing Al-Qaeda/Islamist threats across the Sahel and Maghreb regions,  the US has moved to position General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft out of Niamey to conduct ISR operations over Mali.