The Chief of Air Staff, Oladayo Amao, has said the Super Tucano fighter jets recently acquired by the Force alone cannot end the country’s security challenges without the collaboration of the ground troops.
The Air Chief stated this on Wednesday in Abuja at a meeting with select editors of Nigerian newspapers.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had last month taken delivery of the second batch of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States.
The first batch also comprising six aircraft was delivered in July.
Before taking the delivery, the Air Force had disclosed last year that air fighters from Nigeria were already in the U.S. receiving additional training on the usage and the applications of the jets when eventually added to the fleet of combat aircraft.
The aircraft are expected to aid the fight against insecurity in the North-east and other parts of the country.
After extensive discussions with the U.S. government, President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2018 placed an order for the aircraft.
He had said the procurement would help strengthen Nigeria’s national security, as well as a timely end to the Boko Haram war.
In a letter he wrote to the National Assembly, the president said the Nigerian government transferred $469.4 million to the U.S. government for the purchase.
The matter then became a subject of controversy when the funds were released before approval by the National Assembly.
Apart from the Tucano fighter jets, Nigeria is also expecting other fighter jets from Pakistan.
Super Tucano alone not sufficient
Explaining the efficiency of the aircraft, Mr Amao, an air marshal, stated that the Super Tucano aircraft alone cannot do the fight without the ground troops.
He said the armed forces are already in collaboration to put an end to the lingering insecurity bedeviling the country.
“Yes the Super Tucanos have brought in a lot of bites to the fight and I can tell you for a fact that as we speak now, the airplanes are operating in the North-east.
“Just yesterday, I had a meeting with the commander out there and the vendors who supplied us the air planes to review the operations of the aircraft and I can tell you for a fact that there is a very positive response as to the effectiveness of the operations of those airplanes in the theatre of operations.
“I also want to clarify something here that air power alone cannot win this war, it will take a collective efforts like the Chief of Defence Staff has said, the military, civil society organisations, and all other stakeholders.
“So while the Super Tucano is going to play a very prominent role, let’s not sit back and think that the Super Tucano also is going to end this war. It is not going to happen, it is going to be a collective effort,” the Air Force Chief said.
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