Nigeria buys new aircraft from Russia

Photo credit: The eagle online
Photo credit: The eagle online

The Nigerian Airforce says it has acquired two Mi-35M attack helicopters from Russia to fight terrorists and criminal gangs.

The Mi-35M is a rugged helicopter that offers round the clock combat use of guided and unguided weapons in regular and challenging climate conditions which is equipped with the latest navigation suite, target sights system, laser range finder and location finder.

“The aircraft have already been delivered awaiting official induction after which they will be launched for operations,” the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, said at a media briefing in Abuja on Friday.

He said the Air Force has also installed camera on a Beechcraft aircraft NAF 202 and NAF 204, and upgraded the camera on NAF 201 all in 2016.

“Furthermore, 3x EC-135 helicopters were handed over to the NAF by NNPC in March 2016. In collaboration with Aero-contractors Nigeria Ltd, 2 of the helicopters were reactivated.

“These included NAF 547 and NAF 548. Efforts are also on-going to carry out PDM/reactivation of 2x Mi-35P helicopters NAF 530 and NAF 531,” he said.

The Air force has also recently inducted four new Super Mushshak Trainer Aircraft, which were acquired from Pakistan.

Trainings

The Air Force also said it spent over N25 billion to train pilots in 2016. The pilots were trained both locally and outside Nigeria.

The Chief of Operations of the Force, Isiaka Amao, an Air Vice Marshal, who made the main presentation said the training activities of the Airforce in 2016 placed more emphasis on “pilots, engineers, technician and regiment personnel”.

“The NAF in 2016 trained 869 of its personnel overseas including 101 pilots and 357 engineers and technicians, while 4,868 were trained locally including 131 pilots and 643 engineers and technicians,” he said.

Throwing more light later, the Chief of Training and Operations, Ahmed Iya, also an Air Vice Marshal, said the Airforce spends “between $600,000 to $700,000 to train Pilots overseas while about $60,000 to $70,000 is spent to train Pilots locally”.

At official rate of N305 to the dollar, the force spent some N25. 7 billion on the pilot trainings.

The Air Chief said 14 Pilots recently graduated and joined the pool of fighter pilots within the service adding “presently more Pilots are training in Ilorin, Jordan and with the Egyptian Airforce”.

The Air force Chief also said “a total of 6,000 hrs was flown by NAF platforms translating to Jet A-1 fuel consumption of 10,525,945 liters”. He said despite this extensive employment of air power, “the casualty figures of own troops were minimal due to the professionalism displayed by NAF pilots”.

He however, failed to give the exact figure of the total casualty.

New Command

Mr. Abubakar, Air Marshal, said due to the additional responsibilities that the Air Force is facing as it supports other forces in the various operations within the country, a new command was established in Bauchi state.

He said the Fifth Command has already taken off while nine units under the Command were equally established.

He said the Service had to intervene in providing infrastructure at the newly established units.

“Some of these units are HQ SOC Bauchi, Forward Operation Base (FOB), Katsina, Quick Response Wing Daura, 201 Composite Group, Bauchi, and Quick Response Groups, Owerri and Gusau.

“Contracts for construction of Group HQ building, officers and joint airmen Mess, residential accommodation for officers and airmen as well as provision of water and electricity have been awarded for development of FOB Katsina and QR Wing Daura,” he said.

He added that the development of 201 Composite Group is at advanced completion stage with nearly all the residential accommodation blocks, apron, fire bay parade ground and other facilities as well as provision of electricity, water and access road in place.

“Additionally, a 60-bedded reference hospital has been constructed and awaiting commissioning. Contracts for the extension of apron and construction of taxiways and access road to operational area have also been awarded,” he said.

On the recent accident of one of the Helicopters given to the service by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Training and Operations said the Service is unable to give update to the Nigerian public because investigation is ongoing.

The helicopter crashed in Makurdi Benue state with no casualty.

The Air Force Chief said the Cockpit Voice recorder has been returned to the manufacturer to help the service extract the relevant data for analysis.


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  • Man_Enough

    Cheering news.US can eat their heart out. Above all these, however, is the need to pull our resources to start manufacturing some of these things right here in Nigeria as is happening in the navy.

    • Okos philip

      Amidst all these fighter jet non were sent to southern kaduna…wat a waste

  • DanielOsazuwa

    $600,000-$700,000 to train a Pilot that will fly helicopter or 1975Mig? God will surely judge a lot in this country. How much will they use to train a Pilot to fly F16 Or Sukor 35? Under Buhari, we are being looted blindly. It’s unbelievable!!!!

    Never again will I vote for any bastard in this zoo call Nigeria. Buhari has failed himself.

    • 9ja Boi

      Go school you no gree go! Now you can’t even comprehend the simple English used in explaining the amount spent on training PILOTS.

      • DanielOsazuwa

        Bone head don’t teach me nonsense. Your fellow NAF trolled said “$600,000 was spent in training 101 pilots overseas…”

        The “arithmetic” ( thanks to Bill Clinton) will be like this:

        $600,000 x 305 = 183,000,000 ( one hundred and eighty three million Naira)

        Let me use the $700,000:

        $700,000 x 305 = 213, 500, 000 ( two hundred and thirteen million five hundred thousand Naira).

        Scumbag, you do the maths and regurgitate the nonsense passed to you by your handlers.

        I bet you one thing : I will take and follow this up to the highest authority in the land.

        We voted for change and change we must demand.

        • Amen

          Trouble dey sleep yanga go wake am. Now reply. Ode!

        • Mallamologuntere Kayode Ridwan

          What are you taking up, with which authority, the zoo authorities, guy, your foolishness and stupidity is made in China…

          • Nkechiorji

            Buffoons like you should bury their heads in their sewage mentality and upbringing. You are curse if you have to support those that are stealing from you. Curse you are indeed. Ok, my apology since you don’t have the capacity to understand what this is all about.

      • Amen

        Trouble dey sleep, yanga go wake am. Now reply him. Ode!

    • Riltin

      The AVM said $600,000.00 was spent in training 101 pilots overseas, not per pilot. It’s roughly about $5,940.59 per pilot. He didn’t mention the duration of the the training, but I think it’s a good deal, taking into account that such training are usually more expensive.

      • DanielOsazuwa

        $600,000 x 305 is 183,000,000 ( one hundred and eighty three million Naira ).

        Now manipulate the figures once again and let me know how they arrived at N25.7 Billion.

        I know you are doing some damage control for your Oga at the top but you guys can’t cut this.

        • Riltin

          Hahaha, I don’t have oga. “At official rate of N305 to the dollar, the force spent some N25. 7 billion on the pilot trainings.”
          I’m sure you are referring to this. I’m also confused to how vanguard came to that, let’s blame on typo error.

    • AryLoyds

      Just Ignore these Animals who are Leading us , so with all this money spent they cant defend southern Kaduna , and yet Buhari says no money was left behind , so were did he get the money he is using now , ABI did he get it from the other room?

  • MammanJiyaVatsa

    Story, story,Story…Story, story,Story…Story, story,Story…

    • Iskacountryman

      i tire…o

  • Rommel

    It is obvious that many Nigerians are challenged when it comes to English language,this is why it is necessary for persons who make speeches for public consumption to speak with clarity so that even primary schools can follow, Nigerians have come to this pathetic state,it is part of the legacy of Jonathan Goodluck and his wife,the amount of money mentioned for training of pilots did not state that it was for one pilot yet this is what many people commenting here have understood,strange!

    • Nkechiorji

      Prof please tell us how many pilots were trained with 25.7 billion Naira. Tell us Prof since the report said “N25.7B was spent on Pilot trainings”. We all here want a better Nigeria but only fools will disparage a fellow citizen because they demand accountability. The other question not being ask here is what is the inventory of the Nigeria Air Force? What is the cost effectiveness of training redundant man power?

    • Otile

      Listen to the cocky fulani misfit. You think you are better than others. You are only better than some of your primitive fulani tribesmen. Dan iska kawai.