Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Because the nation’s safety forces battle insurgents and bandits throughout the nation, the federal authorities has procured a complete of 32 various kinds of fighter planes, fight helicopters, and related platforms since 2015, a interval of six years, in response to statistics obtained by THISDAY.
The struggle towards insurgency has dragged on for 11 years with 1000’s of individuals killed and an estimated three million folks displaced.
Along with the insurgency struggle, the federal authorities has additionally waged struggle towards bandits, who give attention to kidnapping for ransom.
The latest supply of the A-29 fighter jets geared up with built-in weapons and laser-firing expertise is likely one of the newest efforts to show the tide of the struggle towards insurgency and banditry.
THISDAY gathered that with the arrival of the primary batch of six A-29 Tremendous Tucano assault plane final Thursday, the federal authorities has acquired a complete of 32 brand-new plane for the Nigerian Air Power since President Muhammadu Buhari got here to energy.
The platforms embody 10 Tremendous Mushshak plane, 5 Mi-35M helicopter gunships, two Bell 412 helicopters, 4 Agusta 109 Energy assault helicopters, two Mi-171E helicopters, three JF-17 Thunder fighter plane, which have been delivered and inducted in Could 2021.
The arsenal of the air power was additionally beefed up with three particular missions plane from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Company (NIMASA), a part of the maritime safety association, deep blue venture.
Although they belong to NIMASA, they’re operated by the Nigerian Air Power.
The federal authorities had additionally procured eight Unmanned Fight Aerial Autos (UCAV), also referred to as drones.
The drones from China have been delivered final yr. They embody Wingloong II, CH-3 and CH-4.
The air power had final yr taken supply of eight UCAVs and three fighter jets from China.
It stated the drones can be deployed in Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Kaduna states as a part of its containment technique towards insurgency and armed banditry.
It had additionally constructed a runway and ancillary services for the UCAVs in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital.
Whereas highlighting the capabilities of the UCAVs, NAF stated the unmanned plane may stay airborne for as much as 26 hours offering persistent presence over areas of curiosity.
“The eight drones not too long ago acquired by the federal government have been designed to boost the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) in addition to airstrike capabilities of the NAF not solely within the battle towards armed banditry within the North-west and North-central but in addition in counter-insurgency operations within the North-east.
“The primary two UCAVs have been deployed within the newly established 203 Fight Reconnaissance Group in Gombe and the 2 others on the Air Activity Power, Operation Hadin Kai Headquarters in Maiduguri,” it stated on the time of buy.
In the meantime, the second batch of the A-29 Tremendous Tucano assault plane are anticipated in Nigeria by December 2021.
The A-29 fighter jet geared up is likely one of the newest upgrades anticipated to show the tide of the struggle towards insurgency and armed banditry.
A press release issued by the workplace of the Minister of Defence, Main Normal Bashir Magashi (rtd) stated the plane was designed and constructed by US plane producer, Embraer, as a growth of the Embraer EMB 312 Tucano which, he stated had in-built precision-guided ammunition capabilities.