- It has not flown since December 2021
- BDF wants configuration of the jet changed
- VP Jet valued at over P100m
The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) is reportedly battling with service and maintenance of the Presidential OK2 Dornier 328 jet after it was involved in a freak accident late last year.
Confidential sources say OK2, which is designated for use by the Vice President, has been grounded in the VIP aircraft hangar at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport for the past five months.
The jet was reportedly struck by lightning mid-air, causing significant damage to certain mechanical parts of it. The incident occurred in mid-December 2021 and it was expected to return to full operation shortly after that.
While the details of the damage to the jet remain undisclosed, confidential military sources say the BDF is contemplating changing configurations of OK2. “They do not want the configurations to be done by the manufacturer or the supplier,” said one source. “This is a serious matter of national security.”
The Botswana Gazette is informed that OK2 was bought for over P100 million from RUAG Aviation in 2017. Research shows that the actual value of the jet is between $11 and $13 million.
OK2 serves as an alternative to the President’s OK1 but it is for use mainly by the Vice President and ministers. All presidential aircraft are kept under the custody of the BDF.
This has been confirmed by DISS spokesman Edward Robert who referred this publication to BDF spokesman Major Fana Maswabi when approached. Fana was not available to respond to questionnaires at the time of going to press.