- To take delivery of Augusta 109 power Helicopter from Italy
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it is currently reactivating five of its aircrafts and the overhaul of three alpha jets while expecting delivery of the Augusta 109 power Helicopter gunship from Italy.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar who disclosed this is in Abuja at the First Quarter of the 2019 CAS conference on Wednesday said the Force has made substantial progress in the area of reactivation and acquisition of aircrafts.
He said: “Currently we are reactivating 5 aircrafts, 3 L39 live extension Programme Is taking place in Kano and also have the MI 35P live extension Programme in Port Harcourt as well as the live extension of the EC135 Helicopter Also in Port Harcourt.
“Similarly on reactivation, 3 alpha jets in kanji are being overhauled, we have paid substantially for it and very soon I believe by September this year we will have those three helicopters flying. So I think in terms of acquisition and reactivation of air craft the service has equally been successful.
“I believe this method substantially adds to our capacity to boost this assets and make Nigeria secure.”
He added, “we are expecting the Augusta 109 power gunship helicopter from Italy and the president and commander in chief will be invited to the launching ceremony that will signify the renewed efforts of the government to ensure that there is security in the north west geopolitical zones particularly Zamfara, Sokoto and parts of Kaduna states.
The CAS also informed that the NAF has trained, over a 1000 special force element that are contributing significantly in dealing with the issues of insecurity
According to him, 300 Special Forces elements have been deployed to Zamfara to deal with insecurity while another 300 Special Forces elements are in Benue state under operation whirl stroke and is being run by the defence headquarters.
“On the just concluded presidential polls and the ongoing supplementary elections in some states, Abubakar while recalling that the NAF was tasked with responsibility of moving electoral material, said the Force was were able to move over 820, 000 kg of elector materials using 8 Air Crafts to 31 different locations in Nigeria.
“120 personnel based here in Abuja worked move those materials and we were able to conclude this despite the fact they we were informed a little late,” he said.
He added, “Even the supplementary elections, our air craft were able to convey some of the materials to Jalingo, Yola and Bauchi. Similarly we are rounding up the distribution of supplementary election materials to other areas INEC want us to go.