As a follow-up to the Research and Development Seminar held in Kaduna recently and in line with the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) vision to ‘reposition the Nigerian Air Force into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient and timely employment of air power in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives,’ the Nigerian Air Force has intensified research and development efforts to produce locally-made spares and other related equipment in a bid to address the challenges associated with spares procurement from third party countries.
The CAS, Air Marshal SB Abubakar, in a bold move towards achieving this objective set up both research and implementation committees comprising 3 professors and NAF officers in partnership with 28 indigenous universities. The committees which only recently submitted a combined interim report were grouped into nondestructive testing team, security monitoring system and autopilot cassette team.
Air Marshal Abubakar who expressed optimism while receiving the interim report stated that the NAF was at the verge of breaking even at producing locally made spares for maintenance of its aircraft. According to him, the research outcomes of the committees will save the country enormous resources in hard currency and the time lag experienced in purchasing spare and military hardware from other countries. He urged the committees to intensify their efforts and pledged to provide the much needed support and enabling environment for them to succeed. Furthermore, the Air Chief used the occasion to also introduced inter-command Research and Development competition amongst all NAF Units.
Earlier, while presenting the interim report, the leader of the team, Air Vice Marshal Kayode Beckley stated that various experiments were currently on-going at different NAF units with the overall aim of using local content to address the issue of maintenance and procurement of spares.