Nigeria to acquire new aircraft to fight Boko Haram

Sunday December 9 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari receives from

President Muhammadu Buhari receives from Nigeria Chief of Army Staff Tukur Yusuf Buratai an excellence award during a military staff annual conference on November 28, 2018, in Maiduguri as part of a visit to troops on front lines of the Boko Haram conflict. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MOHAMMED MOMOH
By MOHAMMED MOMOH
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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is expecting new fighter aircraft from both the US and Italy to intensify its aerial campaign against the Boko Haram insurgency, official said.

The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar, broke the news following the inauguration of the Modular Theatre at the 465 Nigeria Air Force Hospital in Kano on Saturday.

The Air Force chief did not, however, state the date of delivery.

The aircraft being expected are 12 Super Tucano, which the US said would not be ready until 2023 and 6 Augusta 109 Power Helicopter gunship from Italy.

The readiness

The Director of the US Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation (AFSAC), Brig Gen Sean Farrell, promised NAF of on-schedule delivery of the 12 units of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, which were paid for by the Federal Government in April.

Brig Gen Farrell and members of his team were in Nigeria to discuss the delivery schedule as well as the construction at the NAF base, where the aircraft would be stationed.

The American Air chief expressed the readiness of his team to complete the execution of the contract in record time.

In Kaduna, Air Marshal Abubakar said: “I have just inspected the hangar here at the NAF base where three of our aircraft are being reactivated.

“It is in line with our commitment to have a professional Air Force which also has the equipment to enable it discharge its duties effectively.”

Six years ago

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support, pointing out that the Federal Government had within the last three years procured 18 brand new aircraft for NAF.

Earlier, the NAF headquarters Chief of Medical Services, Air Commodore M. E. Sha’aibu, said that with the inauguration of the Modular Theatre, injured personnel from the Northeast could be evacuated to the hospital for treatment.

“Although the theatre was built six years ago, it was neither fully completed nor equipped so could not be put to use.

“However, realising the importance of the hospital in support of our operation in the Northeast, CAS directed that the theatre be completed, equipped and put to use immediately,” he said.

He disclosed that the theatre comprised offices, reception, lecture, common and recovery rooms and two operating suites.

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