Air Chief Plans Domestication Of Aircraft Maintenance

Air Chief Plans Domestication Of Aircraft Maintenance

Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar has said the Nigerian Air Force is investing in indigenous technology development to avoid reliance on foreign companies for repair of aircraft.

He stated this at the 2024 Inter Command Research and Development Exhibition/Competition in commemoration of NAF 60th anniversary in Abuja.

He said; “It is common knowledge that the NAF utilises sophisticated platforms, weapons and equipment to achieve its operational mandate. Major repairs and overhaul of these platforms, weapons and equipment are mostly carried out overseas by the original equipment manufacturers at a very exorbitant cost.

“Moreover, most spares and equipment are non-off the shelf items, therefore there is no guarantee of obtaining them when required.  Meanwhile, the enemy does not wait for us to be ready since our difficulty is to his advantage”.

He said the highlighted situation underscored the need to develop indigenous capacity for innovation and development of products that can effectively support NAF operations.

Going down memory lane, he said NAF acquired 18 Jaguar aircraft in 1984 and by 1991 the entire fleet had been retired from service with some of the aircraft having as low as 150 hours as total flown hours.

He said the same challenge trailed the operation of the MiG 21 aircraft. He added that another 31 aircraft were acquired by 1975 and retired in the late 1980s with total flown hours ranging between 43hrs – 469hrs.


“This early retirement of the platforms indicates the inability of the NAF to sustain their operations due to lack of technical capacity,” he said.


The air chief said similar challenges were being experienced in maintaining aircraft weapons and other critical equipment in the NAF at the moment.


“It is only by developing indigenous capacity to maintain our platforms by ourselves or produce them that we can overcome the challenges posed by the present restrictions. This again emphasises the critical place of R&D in NAF operations.


“Among the services, the NAF has prided itself as a pace setter in the R&D. From the Tsai Gumi UAV to development of rocket launchers, heat shields, weaponization of Alpha Jet aircraft, retrofitting of U/S rockets,  production of blank firing adapters for CAK-103 among others.  These feats have in no mean way ensured that our platforms and equipment were serviceable and deployed at the various theatres of operation,” he added.




Air Marshal Abubakar said it was in recognition of the vital place of R&D that he  approved the installation of eight assorted CNC machines at the AFRDC in Osogbo.


The service has also signed contract for the operationalization of Tsai Gumi UAV with UA Vision of Portugal.


In his remarks, the Chief of Standard and Evaluation, AVM Michael Onyebashi, said the NAF being a technology driven organisation places a high premium on Research & Development (R&D).



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