The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is on the verge of receiving 51 newly procured aircraft from the federal government to enhance its operational capabilities.
Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, the Chief of the Air Staff, made this announcement during the graduation ceremony of 15 participants of Air War College (AWC) Course 9/2023 held in Makurdi, Benue State.
Abubakar emphasized the significance of human capacity development in the Service to fulfill the NAF’s constitutional mandate. He also mentioned that additional aircraft would be inducted before the end of the year to bolster training, air power deployment, and projection.
The forthcoming aircraft acquisitions include two Agusta 109 Trekker Multi-role helicopters, two Beechcraft King Air 360, three Diamond DA-62 surveillance aircraft, and six T-129 ATAK helicopters.
Other acquisitions in the pipeline comprise two CASA 295 medium airlift/surveillance aircraft, 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters, and 24 M-346 attack aircraft.
The Chief of the Air Staff lauded the government’s commitment to equipping the NAF to address national security challenges effectively. He also commended the continuous support of the Federal Government, particularly President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s leadership, in equipment procurement and training.
Abubakar stressed the importance of institutions like the AWC in enhancing jointness and synergy in ongoing operations, stating that such institutions play a crucial role in guiding the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) toward efficient use of military resources.
He noted that the successes achieved in ongoing joint operations highlight the benefits and necessity of joint force employment in contemporary military operations.
The Minister of Defence, Dr. Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, applauded the formidable air power projected by the NAF, considering it as a decisive and indispensable aspect of combat power essential for safeguarding Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
The Minister highlighted the NAF’s role in providing airlift and humanitarian support to the United Nations, African Union, and friendly African nations over the years. He expressed confidence that the AWC’s curriculum, focusing on operational art and critical thinking, would enhance proactive operational planning and management within the NAF.
He acknowledged the significant contributions of NAF personnel to the success of ongoing joint operations, particularly in counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism efforts.