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Tuesday, October 22

Nigeria to receive two helicopter gunships before December – NAF chief

The Nigerian Air Force will before December 2019 take delivery of two helicopter gunships from Italy which will be deployed to complement the air power in various operations across the country.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated this in Abuja on Monday, adding that “substantial progress” had also been made on the acquisition of the Super Tucano Aircraft from the United States of America expected in 2020.

Abubakar spoke at the Chief of the Air Staff Quarterly Conference with the military branch chiefs, Air Officers Commanding and directors of the service.

According to the air force, the quarterly conference is organised to review the progress made in the previous quarter and afford the NAF leadership an opportunity “to critically assess the performance of the service in the past few months.”

Abubakar said, “In terms of the acquisition of aircraft, the air force is making substantial progress. Our team left for Italy on Sunday to inspect the two helicopter gunships that we are expecting in Nigeria.

“The shipment inspection team had gone to the country and the idea is for them to ensure that everything is fine. This is one of the processes in the Procurement Act. We should expect the aircraft before December.

“We have also made substantial progress in the expectation of the JF-17 fighter aircraft from Pakistan. On the Super Tucano Aircraft from the United States of America, we have two of our senior officers who are monitoring every single stage of the production of those aircraft. We are making progress.

“We are expecting a team from the United States to look at the base where the aircraft would be taken to. They will look at other issues they raised, most of which we have addressed already.

“In terms of operations and supporting the ground troops in various conflict areas, we are making progress. We are going to recruit medical personnel because of the gaps we have. We have advertised to bring in more doctors and people with other medical qualifications into the service.”

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