NAF To Deploy 6 Fighter Jets Against Bandits
The Nigeria Air Force has said there are plans to deploy six super Tucano aircraft against terrorists across Nigeria. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar made this known yesterday at a budget defence before the House of Representatives committee on Air Force while defending NAF’s N142.4 billion 2021 budget proposal.
Abubakar explained that the six fighter jets would be delivered to Nigeria from the United States before the second quarter of 2021. According to him, the Super Tucano, among others is capable of supporting basic and advanced flight and combat training, close-air support operations, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), armed over-watch, counterinsurgency and irregular warfare scenarios, that it is currently flown by 15 countries, according to SNC.
The NAF chief further said arrangements were concluded to repair the Kainji runway ahead of the arrival of the fighter jets. “The Super Tucano aircraft is coming to Kainji. The runway in Kainji is not really in good shape for now. We will not want to contract the job out due to paucity of funds. But we have our civil engineers and outworks personnel who can be mobilised through direct labour to achieve repairs of that runway before the arrival of the Super Tucano in the second quarter of next year,” he said.
He said NAF is also expecting more 17 aircraft, in addition to the 22 aircraft procured and at the disposal of his outfit, that there are three other special mission aircraft at the disposal of his outfit under the deep blue project of the federal ministry of transportation. He also said there is plan to spend N17 billion for the procurement of 3 JF 17 multirole fighter aircraft from Pakistan, N650 million for procurement of various aircraft arm and ammunition, N150 million for the procurement of small arms and ammunition.
“It includes N271 million for the procurement of three unmanned aerial systems and associated accessories and infrastructural development of newly established NAF bases to the tune of N1 billion as some of the capital expenditures worth N31.9 billion for his outfit in 2021,” he said.