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Counterterrorism: NAF to receive 51 helicopters, aircraft, others

THE Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has disclosed that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is expecting 51 additional platforms to boost counter-insurgency and counterterrorism operations in the country.

The CAS stated this while addressing officers and men during his maiden operational tour of NAF units in Makurdi, Benue State, according to a statement on Friday by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet.

He noted that the acquisition of additional platforms would bolster training, air power employment and projection.

According to the CAS, the platforms are expected to include two Agusta 109 Trekker Multi-role helicopters, two Beechcraft King Air 360, three Diamond DA-62 surveillance aircraft and six T-129 ATAK helicopters.

Other pending acquisitions include 2 CASA -295 medium airlift/surveillance aircraft, 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters and 24 M-346 attack aircraft.

He added that all the acquisitions demonstrate the Federal Government’s commitment to equipping the NAF for the safe conduct of training and agile airpower employment to meet the Nation’s security challenges.

Speaking further, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar stated that the NAF would continue to enhance cooperation and jointness as part of a whole-of-nation approach to quickly resolving the security challenges bedevilling the country.

“While the NAF augments its airpower measures and approaches, it will also continue to promote seamless interoperability of equipment and joint force employment by the various services,” he said.

He also enjoined the personnel to cooperate with other services and security agencies to meet the high expectations of Nigerians on the Armed Forces as well as restore peace and security and ensure a safe and prosperous Nation.

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