President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, on mass production and export of drones.
The President made the call during the induction of the Nigerian Air Force Unmanned Aerial Vehicle,‘TSAIGUMI,’ in Kaduna on Thursday.
The drone said to be Nigeria’s first indigenously produced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV by NAF was developed for surveillance and emergency purpose, while enabling precision in military operations in the northeast
While commending NAF for the technological breakthrough in production of TSAIGUMI, the President said the outstanding accomplishment by the force holds promise of both military and economic benefit to the nation.
On the military perspective, the President said the benefit included added capacity for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, while the economic aspect it will create employment and possibly generate revenue as Nigeria’s first military export product.
President Buhari, who was also the guest of honor at the induction ceremony added that the TSAIGUMI drone would also boost the ongoing and future security operations in the northeast and other part of the state.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Baba Abubakar said appliance of the unmanned Aerial Vicle, would enable precision and minimum collateral damage.
He said NAF was partnering with other private sectors for mass production of the TSAIGUMI drone for national economic purpose and deployment to war front.
According to him, “UAVs in contemporary times have become the preferred medium for accurate and real time intelligence gathering, remote sensing, weapon delivery as well as conveyance of materials for both military and civilian purposes.
“That is why the need for capacity development in the area of UAVs and other scientific and technological innovations has been foremost in my mind since I assumed the leadership of the Air Force.”
The CAS also said in effort to address aircraft maintenance challenges, NAF had entered MoU with 16 Nigerian universities, while currently conducting R&D with five of them.
He said strategic partnerships with MDAs for enhanced ‘Research and Development’ featured as one of the Key Drivers of my Vision.
“In implementing this key driver, the NAF has entered into MoU with 16 Nigerian universities and is currently conducting R&D with 5 of the universities aimed at addressing some of our aircraft maintenance challenges.
“The NAF is re-strategizing to take full advantage of this Order using local competencies to move its R&D Programmes to a much higher level,” he added.