President Bola Tinubu reiterated on Tuesday the administration’s resolve to end the continuous insecurity in the country.
The statement was made by the President during the unveiling of two T129 Attack Combat Helicopters and one King Air Beechcraft 360ER mobility aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force.
Through his Vice President Kashim Shettima, the President stated that the procurement of the helicopters and their induction represented his administration’s dedication to the security of the country.
The induction ceremony was held at the Nigeria Air Force Base in Makurdi, in the Hanger of the 131 Engineering Group.The NAF’s airpower in the ongoing fight against terrorism will be enhanced, according to the President, with the acquisition and integration of the new platforms.
He stated that “NAF has been playing a critical role in the nation’s security, international operations, and humanitarian needs” ever since its founding in 1964.“Let me commend the Chief of Air Staff, officers and men for their commitment to enhancing national security. I assure you that the Tinubu administration will continue to support NAF and indeed, the Armed Forces of Nigeria towards combating terrorism, oil theft and other criminal activities.
”Though he pointed out that there was still no reason to celebrate until the security issues were completely resolved, the President acknowledged that significant progress had been made in the ongoing counterterrorism efforts.
In order to combat the threat, he demanded a shift in approach, tactics, and mindset.The NAF has received no fewer than seven aircraft, according to a statement made earlier in the speech by Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff.Among the new aircraft he listed were two Diamond 62 surveillance aircraft, two T-129 ATAK helicopters, and a King Air 360 ER.
During the following 18 months, he continued, the NAF would receive 46 new aircraft of various types.He stated that the air force was training its 170 pilots and 533 technicians both domestically and abroad.
The President’s vision and unwavering support for the armed forces were acknowledged by Mohammed Badaru, Minister of Defence.
Asserting that Tinubu’s determination to address national insecurity was demonstrated by the induction of the recently acquired aircraft, he urged the air force to optimise the utilisation of the recently acquired aircraft.
At the event, experts explained that Turkish Aerospace Industries, in collaboration with Leonardo SPA, developed the T129 ATAK, a twin-engine, tandem-seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter, based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform.
It is believed that the helicopter is intended for use in armed reconnaissance and attack missions over harsh terrain and in hot, high temperatures during both day and night.Aerial demonstration by the T129 Attack Combat Helicopter and signing of the document handover were highlights of the event.