Published On: Mon, Apr 30th, 2018

Boko Haram: Russia Delivers Two Mi-35M Helicopter Gunships To NAF

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By Sadiq Umar – The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Monday took delivery of two new Mi-35M helicopter gunships ordered from Russia in 2015.

The cargo arrived at NAF Base in Makurdi, Benue capital on board a Russian cargo vessel Antonov aircraft, at exactly 12.20 p.m.

NAF, in a statement its spokesman, Olatokunbo Adesanya, an Air Vice Marshal, said the newly delivered military helicopters would enhance operational capability and it most sophisticated in the Mi-series of helicopter gunships, and capable of night fighting.

The newly received combat helicopters form the second batch of the fleet of Mi-35M helicopters initiated by the Buhari administration in 2015.

“At the inception of the current NAF leadership in 2015, it was realised that modern Mi-helicopter gunships with night-fighting capability needed to be procured towards enhancing the operational capability of the NAF.

“Consequently, the delivery of the helicopter gunships would go a long way in adding impetus to the current efforts at combatting the security challenges in Benue State and other parts of the North Central Region as well as other forms of criminality facing the country.

The Chief of Aircraft Engineering at NAF Headquarters, Abdulganiyu Olabisi, received the new aircraft on behalf of the Chief of the Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar.

Also, a combined team of NAF personnel and Russian technicians as well as officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service and Nigerian Customs Service also witnessed the delivery.

In addition, with the delivery of the additional Mi-35M helicopters, the on-going counterinsurgency operation in the Northeast has just received a boost,” the statement added.

NAF took delivery of the first batch of two brand new Mi-35M helicopters in December 2016, following which the helicopters were inducted and had since been contributing to the counterinsurgency and other internal security operations in the country.

 

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