Zimbabwe Air Force asks Nigeria for technical assistance

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The Commander of Zimbabwe’s Air Force has travelled to Nigeria to ask his counterpart for technical assistance, including in the operation and maintenance of F7 and Mi-35 aircraft.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) reported that Air Marshal Elson Moyo, Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ), in late March visited NAF Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, at NAF Headquarters.

Moyo said he would like to pursue technical assistance in the areas of research and development, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology and the operation and maintenance of F7 and Mi-35 aircraft. The identified areas for collaboration, according to Moyo, are of common interest to Zimbabwe and Nigeria as their respective air forces operate some similar aircraft (including F7s and Mi-35s).

Zimbabwe’s Air Chief noted that the Nigerian Air Force has within a short time recorded ‘remarkable feats’ in its transformation effort to develop indigenous capacity. This, he said, provides a motivation for the Air Force of Zimbabwe to look inward as part of efforts to address the technical challenges arising from sanctions imposed on his country, which has limited the ability to acquire basic aircraft parts and other equipment.

Moyo commended the NAF for its support in the past, including training given to the first batch of Zimbabwe pilots in the 1980s, which he said informs the decision to seek collaboration with the NAF with respect to capacity development.

Amao for his part stated that the NAF is ready to forge a mutually benefitting partnership with the Air Force of Zimbabwe. He stated that the NAF currently has partnerships with many countries, including African countries, and is willing to partner with others. Improved synergy among African countries is the solution to many of the challenges, including security, facing the continent, he added.