The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Tuesday said it was poised to advance local technical output to end over-dependence on foreign technology.
Air Vice Marshal Olusegun Philip, NAF’s Chief of Standard and Evaluation, stated this in Makurdi at the Tactical Air Command (TAC) 2021 Intra Command Research and Development/Exhibition Competition.
Philip said that the Service was advancing its local technical output to end the aged long over-dependence on foreign technology to be able to compete effectively with other Air Forces globally.
Represented by Air Commodore Abubakar Sule, the Director, Research and Development, Philip said research and development were major ways of improving technical output.
He said technology was the bedrock of NAF operations, stressing the need to key into the Federal Government policy of promoting local content.
“Nigerian Air Force has been gradually looking inward to end our dependence on foreign technology and to become more innovative and resourceful.
“One of the ways to do this is through research and development. To advance the Nigerian technical output competitions such as this and collaboration with local organizations and institutions is key
“Competitions also provide platforms to synergise ideas for greater innovations and are key to achieving results to the technical challenges we currently faced for cost-effective manner,’’ he said
He said that nine units were expected to participate in the competition but only eight did.
According to him, 141 Communication Group came first with their modification of long-range wireless alarm system to enable remote switching presentation.
He said that 101 Air Defence Group came second with their modification FT/F-7 tyre breaker initiative while 107 Air Maritime Group, Benin came third with their ATR 42 PW127M Foreign Object Debris (FOD) remover R&D prototype.
Earlier, Air Vice Marshal Idi Lubo, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC), TAC, Makurdi, said the rising cases of insecurity in the country had made security agencies to step up their response strategies.
Lubo said that the “Tactical Air Command 2021 Intra Command Research and Development (R&D) Competition’’ was one of the response strategies of NAF to find solutions to the ongoing insecurity challenges in the country.
Represented by the Chief of Staff, TAC Makurdi, Air Vice Marshal Nanju Kumzhi, the AOC described TAC as the teeth arm of NAF.
Lubo said this was because of its notable operational efficiency achieved through outstanding activities such as the Research and Development Programme.
“The rising cases of insecurity caused by banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other forms of criminality in the country have given cause for security agencies to step up their response strategies.
“Consequently, the armed forces, particularly, the Nigerian Air Force has adopted proactive measures aimed at effectively coping this menace through robust technological advancement through Research and Development.
“Research and Development in the armed forces is all about prototyping and ensuring improvement in the serviceability status of deployable equipment for optimal performance of the troops,’’ he said
He said the air force needed to constantly develop as well as upgrade prototypes of the new military systems without calling for full-scale development or production, except when the need for replacement of equipment or force expansion arises.
He said the NAF must leverage on the gains of R & D in order to keep pace with other Air Forces in the world.
“Let us not forget in a hurry the decisive roles of R & D in the advancement of technology, especially in bringing the crisis to a quick resolution in the country.
“Through R & D, the serviceability of a number of platforms deployed in various theatres of operations in the country has adequately been increased.
“Furthermore, it is on record that through R & D, the NAF was able to fabricate hydraulic accumulator diaphragm as well as tow bars for the Mi-35 Aircraft being deployed in operation in the North East.’’
Announcing the results of the competition, the Chief Assessor, Prof. Terfa Gundu, said that the participants were assessed based on their quality of work, originality, content, functionality and finishing among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the units that participated in the competition included141 Communication Group, 101 Air Defense Group, 107 AMG and 163 Nigerian Air Force Hospital, Yola.
Others were 151 Base Service Group, 119 CG Sokoto, 109 Combat Reconnaissance Group, Gombe and Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital, Port Harcourt. (NAN)