President Bola Tinubu, reiterating his administration’s dedication to addressing the country’s security challenges, presided over the induction of two T129 Attack Combat Helicopters and one King Air Beechcraft 360ER mobility aircraft for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Tuesday. Vice President Kashim Shettima represented the President at the ceremony held at the 131 Engineering Group Hanger, Nigeria Air Force Base, Makurdi.
Highlighting the significance of the acquisitions, the President emphasized their role in enhancing NAF’s airpower in the ongoing fight against terrorism. He praised NAF for its critical role in national security, international operations, and humanitarian efforts since its establishment in 1964. The President assured continued support from the Tinubu administration for NAF and the Armed Forces in combating terrorism, oil theft, and other criminal activities.
While acknowledging progress in counterterrorism efforts, the President urged a shift in mindset, strategy, and tactics to fully address security challenges. Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, the Chief of Air Staff, shared that NAF had received seven new aircraft, including surveillance planes and attack helicopters, with plans to induct 46 more of various types over the next 18 months.
Expressing gratitude to the President for his support, the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru, highlighted the newly-acquired aircraft as a testament to Tinubu’s commitment to tackling insecurity. Experts at the event detailed the T129 ATAK helicopter’s capabilities, describing it as a multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter designed for armed reconnaissance and attack missions in diverse conditions.
The ceremony included the signing of handing over documents and an aerial display by the T129 Attack Combat Helicopter, showcasing the advancements in NAF’s capabilities to address the nation’s security challenges.