Nigerian Army Bolsters Capabilities with New Combat Aircraft Amid Ongoing Conflict

By Milcah Tanimu

The Nigerian Army has taken delivery of its first batch of new combat aircraft, aimed at enhancing its operational capabilities against terrorists and bandits. Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Army Public Relations, announced in Abuja that the arrival of these aircraft marks a significant milestone in developing the Army’s aviation capacity to provide air support for ground operations.

The BELL UH-1H (HUEY) helicopters were formally received by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, during a ceremony at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. General Lagbaja noted that the renewed effort to establish an Army Aviation wing began in 2014 under former COAS, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah (rtd), with a three-phase ten-year implementation plan.

The COAS praised former Chiefs of Army Staff for their dedication and the collective efforts of personnel, as well as the Nigerian government’s political will, which were crucial in realizing the Army Aviation dream. He also expressed profound gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for funding the acquisition of the platforms and supporting the actualization of this vision.

These helicopters are equipped with advanced sensors and enablers for a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, rescue, logistics, transportation, and medical evacuation. The Army Chief also appreciated the support from sister services and the Nigeria Police Force Aviation wing.

In his remarks, Brigadier General Musa Alkali, Coordinator of Nigerian Army Aviation, highlighted the significance of these new platforms in enhancing the operational capabilities of the Nigerian Army Aviation, in line with the COAS’s Command Philosophy. He emphasized that the acquisition is a clear demonstration of the Army’s resolve to continuously improve and adapt to the evolving security landscape.

Major General Emeka Onwuamaegbu (retired), a Consultant for the Nigerian Army Aviation and a trained helicopter pilot, lauded the Nigerian Army for sustaining the vision over the years, leading to the actualization of the Nigerian Army aviation. This development is expected to boost the Army’s reconnaissance, surveillance, and air mobility capabilities, providing an enabling environment for economic prosperity in Nigeria.


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