- Nigeria has had very distinguished and cerebral Air Force officers over the years
- The outgoing Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar is one of such officers
- Air Marshal Abubakar, a Distinguished Flying Star, is taking a bow having cemented his place in the history of Nigeria
The outgoing Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar is leaving office with his head held high.
Bauchi-born Abubakar is reputed to be one of Nigeria's finest pilots and has distinguished himself as a fine administrator in the last few years.
Military affairs experts say the new Chief Of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Isiaka Amao, will inherit the strongest and the most equipped Air Force in the history of Nigeria.
Air Marshal Abubakar is said to have added to the NAF inventory:
1. Ten Super Mushshak
2. Five Mi-35M Helicopter Gunships
3. Two Bell 412 Helicopters
4. Four Agusta 109 Power Attack Helicopters and
5. One Mi-171 E Helicopter.
Expected to arrive later are:
1. Nineteen manned aircraft along 8 unmanned combat aerial vehicles
2. Twelve A-29 Super Tucano,
3. Three JF-17 Thunder Fighter Aircraft,
4. One Mi-171E Helicopter,
5. Three Special Missions Aircraft,
6. Eight UCAVs- including 2 Wingloong 11, 2 CH-3 and
7. Two CH-4.
Meanwhile, some NAF pilots are currently in the United States of America to understudy their counterparts in the country on how to effectively fly the Tucano helicopters which will be arriving in Nigeria soon.
The super Tucano is famed for its precision-guided missiles/bombs, and machine guns which military experts say will be deadly for rag-tag criminal elements in Nigeria.
In preparation for its induction into its service, the NAF is already establishing more Forward Operating Bases in the country.
In a related development, the first set of made in Nigeria helicopters by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) would be ready soon.
At the moment, the helicopters are ready to undergo environmental impact assessments.
The initiative is an arrangement between NASENI and Dynali of Belgium to transfer technology to Nigeria by producing Dynali-style choppers at a plant operated by the agency in Nigeria.