The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is expecting delivery of 19 new aircraft in the fight against insecurity in the Nort-East part of the country.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this during the 2021 Budget defence session before the Senate Committee on Air Force at the National Assembly on Tuesday.
He said the Air Force had carried out operations for over 60,000 hours with half of time dedicated to the North-East.
“We are expecting three J-17 fighters from Pakistan, 12 super Tucano from the United States, one M-171 and three special mission aircrafts from NIMASA. We are talking about 19 additional aircrafts,” the CAS said.
He added one hanger had been relocated to Maiduguri, Borno State to support aircraft maintenance in the region.
Sadique said NAF had trained 119 pilots from the Liberia Air Force in support of the West African military.
He added that about 200 personnel were receiving training in nine different countries.
“We are expecting that these pilots would soon join their colleagues in the fight against insecurity,” he said.
He added that the series of training had greatly improved the efficiency of the NAF in covert operations.
A member of the committee, Senator Sani Musa (Niger East), said the Federal Government must rededicate resources and deploy technology to fight insurgency, complaining that N1 billion was meagre for serious training, research and development.
The chairman of the committee, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC, Kebbi South), said the panel would be willing to visit the North-East for on-the-spot assessment of the region.