FG Imports Russian War Helicopters, UAVs to Combat Pipeline Vandalism
The Federal Government has responded strongly to the incessant attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta region by making arrangements for the importation of sophisticated military hardware.
It was gathered that the FG acquired the Yahbon/20UAVs (unarmed vehicles) from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates to replace the Chinese CH-3A UAV in the arsenal of the military.
According to a top military source, the Yahbon/20 UAV carries four missiles on its wings and will be crucial to the success of the operation to rid the nation of the nefarious activities of militants.
Punch reports that some of the new UAVs are billed to arrive the country in November, 2016 while plans have also been concluded for the importation of the sophisticated Russian MI35M attack helicopters.
There are also reports that Russia had trained 33 personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on how to fly and handle the ‘all-weather helicopters’ which could operate both at night and during the day.
“The Federal Government is not sleeping over the attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta. Comprehensive steps are being taken on this disturbing development,” the source said.
“The government is importing the Yahbon/20 UAV from Dubai. The unique thing about this drone is that it carries four missiles on its wings and it is quite effective. Very soon, Nigerians would see the difference.
“The latest drone will replace the Chinese CH-3A UAV which was found to be problematic in some ways. Apart from that, the military is also acquiring MI35M from the Russians. This is the latest version of the MI35 being used by the NAF.
“Some of the personnel of the NAF who went for the training on the use of the aircraft returned to the country three weeks ago. Also, the acceptance flight was done three weeks ago.”
However, the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar and the Director of Information and Public Relations, NAF, Group. Capt. Ayodeje Famuyiwa, claimed they did not have such details when contacted.
Meanwhile, The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, while commissioning the third weaponised Alpha Jet of the NAF at the 99 Air Combat Training Group, Kainji, Niger State, on Friday, said that the planned operation in the Niger Delta would require additional platforms.
“The exercise I am talking about will require additional platforms. They are now in the planning stage, very soon we will conclude that plan,” he said.
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