Mozambique receives FTB-337G utility aircraft from Portugal

6 July 2012 (Last Updated July 6th, 2012 03:45)

Portugal's defence minister, Jose Pedro Aguiar-Branco, has delivered its second decommissioned FTB-337G Milirole utility aircraft to the Mozambican Air Force.

Portugal’s defence minister, Jose Pedro Aguiar-Branco, has delivered its second decommissioned FTB-337G Milirole utility aircraft to the Mozambican Air Force.

Delivered under the Cooperação Técnico-Militar (CTM), a technical military cooperation agreement between both nations, the upgraded utility aircraft from Portugal Air Force will be used by Mozambique to primarily provide training to its air force pilots.

During a visit to Mozambique to boost bilateral defence ties between the nations, Aguiar-Branco added, "We know how important it is in building an Air Force to have well-trained, educated pilots who are able to fulfil their missions flawlessly."

Under the CTM agreement, Portugal and Força Aérea Portuguesa (FAP) will jointly work with the Mozambique Air Force to provide pilot and ground crew training in both countries.

The twin-engine FTB-337G aircraft will also be used by the air force to conduct medical evacuations and maritime surveillance to better counter Somali pirates, as part of international crime and piracy efforts.

Capable of carrying five passengers or two stretchers and a medic, the aircraft also has underwing hardpoints for storage purpose.

The FAP had placed orders for 32 FTB-337Gs in 1973, to replace its ageing Dornier 27 aircraft with the Portugal air force, and retired it in July 2007 after serving for 32 years.

On 3 March 2011, Portugal officially handed over the first Reims Aviation Milirole aircraft to the Força Aérea de Moçambique.

As part of the agreement, Aguiar-Branco also donated several boats for the Mozambican Navy and extended cooperation to engage in humanitarian support and peace missions.

The Mozambican Air Force has two An-26s, two CASA 212s and a Cessna 182 combat aircraft in operational service along with several Z-326 trainers, according to IISS’s The Military Balance 2011.