Chief of Air Staff, Oladayo Amao, yesterday said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) was expecting the delivery of additional new platforms, which President Muhammadu Buhari approved for the service.
Amao, who made the disclosure during an operational visit to the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Safety and 209 Quick Response Group, Ipetu-Ijesa, Osun State, stated that NAF had effectively operationalised the usage of new and modern platforms on the battlefield.
The expected air assets include: Two Beechcraft King Air 360, four Diamond DA-62 surveillance aircraft, three Wing Loong II UCAVs and 6 T-129 attack helicopters.
He further disclosed that there were ongoing acquisitions of 12 Agusta 109 Trekker multi-role helicopters and 24 M-346 attack aircraft.
He added that some of the additional platforms are expected to be delivered to the NAF before the end of first quarter 2023.
This, he said, would further boost NAF’s air power employment and projection capabilities as well as air combat training. He said the new and modern air assets were instrumental to the successful bombing campaign against terrorists and insurgents.
Amao attributed successes recorded by NAF in the theatres of operation to the newly acquired JF-17 Thunder aircraft, A-29 Super Tucano aircraft and the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV).
He maintained that the Nigerian military was winning the war against terrorism in the country, with the aid of these modem platforms. He emphasised that “more still needed to be done to completely decimate and flush out remnants of terrorists still preying on soft targets”.
He, however, warned that being complacent at this point would be harmful to ongoing operations and called for more focus, vigilance and caution.
Commenting on the upcoming general election, the CAS urged NAF personnel to remain apolitical but only exercise their legal franchise, which is the constitutional right to vote for any candidate of their choice.
“We must continue to maintain our integrity and neutrality as a Service,” the CAS added.
He further urged NAF personnel to remember that as custodians of Nigeria’s constitution, they must ensure that public perception of NAF and the Armed Forces of Nigeria remained positive and unblemished.
The CAS was accompanied by the Air Officers Commanding Special Operations Command, Air Training Command, some Branch Chiefs and Directors from Headquarters NAF.