The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on 8 August inducted five new Super Mushshak trainer aircraft into service, and graduated 16 new pilots from 401 Flying Training School at Kaduna.
The NAF said it was the first time in over 30 years that NAF cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna graduated from flying training before being commissioned as officers.
The newly inducted aircraft, which were part of the NAF’s first batch of 10 Super Mushshak aircraft procured from Pakistan, were recently received by the NAF. The inducted aircraft are all brand new and are fitted with digital glass cockpits, the NAF said. Another five are expected to arrive in Nigeria in December this year.
Acting President Professor YemiOsinbajo, who was represented by the Honourable Minister of Defence, Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali, said one of the major security policy thrusts of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is the building of the capacity of the Armed Forces. “We have since embarked on qualitative training and acquisition of new platforms and other supporting equipment for the Armed Forces and security agencies. We have also sanitised the procurement process of military hardware with a view to eliminating corruption and inefficiency. This has contributed in no small way to the acquisition of these new aircraft without any encumbrances,” he stated.
The Acting President congratulated the newly graduated pilots for the accomplishment in completing the primary flying training in a record time.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal SadiqueAbubakar, said the NAF recently reactivated 12 grounded aircraft. “We have attained between 63 to 70 per cent aircraft serviceability rate as against about 35 per cent aircraft serviceability rate two years ago”, he said.
Abubakar also noted that the facilities at NAF bases had improved tremendously in the past two years with the training assistance the NAF receives from the British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT).
Invited guests were later treated to an aerial display, involving several acrobatics, by one of the new Super Mushshaks. They also visited the Air Force Research and Development Centre in Kaduna, where they inspected some ongoing research such as the Gulmaunmanned aerial vehicle, unguided rockets and the powered chute aircraft, the NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information said.