The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is the air branch of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Established in 1964, it is one of the largest in Africa, consisting of nearly 20,000 personnel.
Air combat training is an essential part of the NAF program. The Air Force has various aircraft in its fleet, including Chinese Chengdu F-7s, Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jets, Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, armed helicopters, and military transport aircraft. All of these require specific training.
The NAF needed to run full night-time flights from their airfield at Kainji. By offering these flights, the NAF would be able to provide more pilots with night-time training, and under improved lighting conditions.
By improving their flying skills under night-time conditions, they could better aid the people of Nigeria.
First, to provide full night-time flights, the NAF required an airfield lighting system that had the lowest up front running and lifetime costs. They needed to be able to easily remove and relocate this new system as needed. The runway operators also needed simple, user-friendly ground controls to make sure the runway activated on command.
This new system would need to be reliable and durable, as the runway would be subject to heavy use and harsh weather conditions.
In 2012, the NAF commissioned new lighting for the Kainji airbase. This lighting would be mainly used by the 99 Air Combat Training Group.
Because the airbase is positioned in a remote location with a lack of hardwired infrastructure, traditional AC powered lighting would be costly to deliver, install, and operate. Therefore, the lighting solution they chose would require independent energy sources.
Avlite was able to install a complete solar runway system in conjunction with partners Transtek Systems Limited. Ease of installation and operation was a must for the NAF, with on going support necessary.
The NAF chose Avlite solar airfield lighting through our Nigerian distributor, Transtek Systems Limited, for its independent energy source and reliability record. The other key aspects critical for the Air Force was the certification of our lights to both FAA and ICAO standard, and our secure and encrypted AvMeshTM RF Network.
The Kainji Airfield was implemented in two Phases:
Each phase of the project took under three weeks. Quick installation was possible as no trenching cabling or power supply was needed.
Avlite solar-powered runways are designed to be the most cost-effective option for general airfield applications, irrespective of their location. Avlite airfield solutions also have minimal running costs.
Since the installation in 2012, only one change in batteries has taken place. The airfield remains fully operational. Avlite‘s continued partnership with Transtek Systems Limited helps provide maintenance as required, a key component for the Nigerian Air Force.
Avlite is now a preferred supplier of lighting for the Nigerian Air Force. At the Kainji airbase, our solar airfield lights have proven their durability, reliability and function.
The airfield lighting system has allowed hundreds of pilots to train and develop further skill sets to assist the Nigerian Air Force.
Avlite commits to continuous improvement and investment in its product line up. Since the installation of the Kainji airfield, we have updated our product line to continue to give our customers an unrivalled user experience.
Since 2012, our AV425 product has been updated to the AV-426 Series II. It features upgraded solar, more efficient LEDs and has more autonomy days .
The AV72 has been replaced by the upgraded AV-70. The AV-70 has improved intergrated solar and more efficient LEDs. The AV-70 is used in airports around the world due to its excellent autonomy days.
Avlite upgraded the Precision Approach Path Indicator last year. The LED AV-PAPI has the best in market transition from white to red, giving pilots the highest possible clarity. It is a truly outstanding product which showcases the best Avlite traits – reliability, durability and quality.
“The Nigerian Air Force Airfield in Kainji is an excellent example of the Avlite product range reliability and durability. It has required minimal maintenance from our distributor in Nigeria, Transtek Systems, who continue to maintain a positive relationship with the Nigerian Air Force.
Avlite is proud to continue to install runways like Kainji across the world with ongoing success.”
Jordon Holcomb, Project Manager for the Kainji project in 2012