NAF at 60: CAS celebrates achievement

As the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) prepares for its 60th anniversary in April, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, says one of the achievements so far worthy of being celebrated is having 30 aircraft in its fleet.

Abubakar asserted this on Tuesday during a two-day working visit to Sam Ethnan Air Force Base Ikeja and other NAF formations in Lagos to inspect some ongoing projects.

The CAS said that the NAF had come a long way from its establishment in 1964, when it started without any platform or training facility and depended mostly on foreign assistance.

“However, when we look back now, we have 30 different aircraft types, from fighters to transports to the rotary wing.

“We also have a holding of over 35,000 officers and men with bases in all the geopolitical zones of the country, and I think we have done wonderfully well over time.

“We will be celebrating our 60th anniversary very soon, and then we will be able to showcase a lot of achievements,” he said.

Abubakar said that innovations emanating from the NAF Research and Development Institute were top-notch and had high prospects for future benefits.

He said that some of the projects produced from its research and development efforts had reached advanced stages and would soon be ready for mass production.

“For instance, we have the Gulma and the Tsaigumi Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that we have demonstrated in flights, and we are now at the stage of mass production.

“Hopefully, by next year, we will have them mass-produced and at least operating within the Air Force before we start producing them for commercial purposes,” he said.

Abubakar said that five of the research products had been patented by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).

“Now, we have proprietary ownership of those patents, and we can mass produce them, use them, and, as well, sell them.

“We also have other products along the line, so we have a very good research and development setup, and we are achieving a lot and going from strike to strike,” he said.

The CAS said that organising competitions where research and development efforts were brought and assessed contributed to the development of projects that got to the advanced stages of admiration.

Abubakar said that NAF enjoyed excellent collaboration with all other security agencies in terms of information gathering and sharing, among other things.

“We have lots of assets that can conduct intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance UAVs as well as manned platforms.

“We share information with the Department of State Services (DSS), the Nigerian Police, the Army, the Navy, and all other security agencies and have excellent relationships with them.

“Whenever we get intelligence, we share, and we also get intelligence from them, so collaboration has never been this good in the past,” he said.

The CAS said that the NAF had learned from its mistakes in the past and assured the public that it would not make the mistake of accidentally hitting civilians again during its operations.

He said that it was difficult to isolate and defeat the adversary because they were embedded within the population and among innocent citizens.

“However, we do a lot of intelligence tracking and counterchecks to make sure that we isolate the adversary before we hit.

“We have adapted rapidly to the current situation and are fighting it effectively,” Abubakar said. (NAN)

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
error: Content is protected !!