The Nigerian Air Force has acquired two Russian Mi-35M attack helicopters to tackle the menace of insecurity across the country due to Boko Haram’s terrorist group.
At a media briefing in Abuja on Friday, January 6, the Chief of Air Staff Sadique Abubakar was quoted as saying by Premium Times: “The aircraft have already been delivered awaiting official induction after which they will be launched for operations”.
Mi-35M is a rugged helicopter that offers round the clock combat use of guided and unguided weapons in regular and challenging climate conditions. It is also equipped with the latest navigation suite, target sights system, laser range finder and location finder.
To fight the strength of Boko Haram insurgents across the country, the government has confirmed an order for three JF-17 fighter aircraft along with 10 Super Mushak trainers from Pakistan acquired under the Nigerian Federal Budget.
Four out of 10 Super Mushaks were recently inducted into the air force.
Abubakar said in 2016, the air force installed camera on a Beechcraft aircraft NAF 202 and NAF 204, and upgraded the camera on NAF 201.
“Furthermore, 3x EC-135 helicopters were handed over to the NAF by NNPC in March 2016. In collaboration with Aero-contractors Nigeria Ltd, 2 of the helicopters were reactivated.
“These included NAF 547 and NAF 548. Efforts are also on-going to carry out PDM/reactivation of 2x Mi-35P helicopters NAF 530 and NAF 531,” he said.
Abubakar further disclosed that the air force has also activated and brought to flying status, a total of 13 aircraft in 2016 out of the over 15 aircraft that were found grounded, adding that remainining two were being worked upon.