BH, Niger Delta: Pakistan pilots begins operation

The Buhari led Government says it has finalized plans to purchase 10 Mushshak light basic trainer jets from Pakistan.

The Nigerian Airforce aims to use the soon to be delivered jests to boost training at the force’s main flight training school in Kaduna.

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Speaking at a graduation ceremony of pilots at the 301 Flight Training School in Kaduna, NAF Chief of Staff Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar revealed that the jest would soon be delivered by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).

The sale agreement includes deployment of Pakistani pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians to the country.

The strategy is aimed at training locals in the operation and maintenance of the aircraft.

Abubakar Further stated that the NAF had just completed an airport expansion to accommodate the new aircrafts.

The defense chief also added that the NAF garrison in Kaduna will, before the end of this year, take delivery of three Pakistani-made JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft and Russian-made Mil Mi-35 helicopters to boost ongoing counterinsurgency operations against Islamist militant group Boko Haram in the northeast of the country.

According to Abubakar, “The induction of the Super Mushshak trainer aircraft will boost our capabilities by training our pilots in the full spectrum of military flight training.

“In addition to the 10 new pilots who graduated locally, the NAF has sent 10 pilots for specialized combat training in the United Kingdom while another 10 are being trained in South Africa.

“Eight more fighter aircraft and helicopter pilots are undergoing training at the International Aviation College in the city of Ilorin.

“The NAF has embarked on a costly force modernization program, with many deals for the supply of new aircraft and aerial defense weapons under currently negotiation.”

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The Buhari led government is also negotiating with the US for the acquisition of up to 20 Brazilian-made secondhand A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to replace the aging fleet of Alpha jets.

This week, NAF unveiled a King Air 350i aircraft. The aircraft will be deployed in support of the counterinsurgency campaign in the northeast.