ILORIN- The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has inaugurated the newly delivered Diamond 62 multipurpose platform aircraft in Ilorin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the aircrafts, which is the last two sets of four Diamond 62 multipurpose platform special mission aircrafts, will enhance the capability of the force in its Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission.
Inaugurating the aircrafts on Wednesday, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Hassan Abubakar, described the occasion as a milestone in the history of the military.
He urged the command to maximise the new equipments which would mitigate the issue of collateral damage and innocent civilians falling victim of the force’s operation, in view of its technological sophistication.
“The event we are witnessing today started two years ago when the Federal Government approved funds for the acquisition of four Diamonds 62 multipurpose platform special aircrafts,” Abubakar said.
According to him, the first two, out of the four aircrafts approved for purchase, were delivered within the first half of this year and the next two will be delivered in the next half.
He revealed that the already delivered aircraft had been deployed to the force’s operation in the North West and North East part of Nigeria.
Manufactured by Diamond Aircraft of Austria, the newly added fleets, according to the Air Force chief, are configured for high level ISRs operations with cutting edge technology like the camera mounted with accurate and timely hit on targets.
“The credible intelligence gathered through the aircraft is processed through appropriate military cells for effective combat missions in order to ensure successful mission execution,” said the CAS.e
He revealed that the force is also expecting the delivery of other aircrafts which will boost its activities in restoring peace in troubled areas across the country.
Abubakar restated the commitment of the force to eliminate all the criminal elements within the country.
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, thanked the force for supporting the state in securing Kwara alongside other security agencies.
“I believe that this aircraft will strengthen the surveillance and search and rescue capabilities of the nation, including Kwara state.
“It will also boost internal security operations of our own indigenous operation Harmony in the state and also fish out criminal elements wherever they intend to hide.
Air Officer Commanding Mobility command of the 303 Medium Airlift Group, Ilorin, Air Vice Marshall T.O. Yusuf, asserted that the aircraft would help in combat operations, noting that modern day warfare requires enormous intelligence shaping of the battle space.
“It’s acquisition such as this that has enabled the Nigerian Air Force to record more successes particularly in the area of internal security,” he stated.
He revealed that the Air Force leadership in view of the significance it attached to training of personnel has also installed an appropriate stimulator to enhance air coup training, an achievement that would reduce the financial and safety implications involved in operating actual aircraft during training.
NAN reports that the event also witnessed the official signing of the delivery and acceptance document between the manufacturers and the NAF. (NAN)