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Buhari inducts NAF combat helicopter, commissions reactivated jet



President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday inducted the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) MI-171E combat helicopter and commissioned a reactivated Alpha jet L39ZA in Kaduna State.

Buhari, who spoke at a virtual conference, said the induction and reactivation of the aircraft would boost NAF operational capacity.

The president recalled that he commissioned two Augusta-109 power attack helicopters and one MI-171E helicopter that were inducted into the NAF inventory to boost operational capacity in February.

According to him, 23 new aircraft had been added to the NAF inventory since he came to power in 2015.

President Buhari said: “This is a clear reflection of our commitment towards ensuring the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.”

He noted that the 23 aircraft were aside the 15 additional aircraft comprising 12 Super Tucano jets from the United States and 3 JF-17 Thunder Multi-Role fighter aircraft from Pakistan that had been procured and would be delivered soon.

READ ALSO: NIGER ATTACKS: Buhari orders NAF to deploy fighter aircraft against bandits

Buhari said the platforms had contributed immensely to the NAF successes against insurgents and bandits in recent engagements.

He stressed that the platforms had boosted the NAF capacity to deliver robust airpower in support of his administration’s counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency campaigns.

“We remain unyielding in confronting the Boko Haram insurgency and other forms of criminality that had bedevilled our country,” the president added.

In his remarks, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, highlighted the NAF achievements since his appointment by President Buhari in 2015.

He said Nigeria had endured national security challenges that had manifested in terrorism, insurgency and banditry in the last decade.

Abubakar added that the NAF, in concert with other security agencies, had vigorously confronted the several threats to ensure that the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Nigeria were not undermined.

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