Friday, 22nd September 2023

Nigerian Navy procures 415 platforms in 7 years says,Minister

13 February 2023   |   2:59 pm
Retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi , Minister of Defence on Monday, disclosed that the Nigerian Navy (NN), had procured 415 platforms since the inception of the present administration.

[FILES] Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd)

Retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi , Minister of Defence on Monday, disclosed that the Nigerian Navy (NN), had procured 415 platforms since the inception of the present administration.

Magashi disclosed this at the 25th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration scorecard and ministerial briefing in Abuja.

He explained that the platforms were of various types and mix, adding that the effort was part of the fleet renewal of the Navy within the period.

The minister also said that within the same period, the NN had also deployed 14 NSS along the nation’s coastline in areas prone to illegalities under the Choke Point Regime and Control Operations.

Magashi further disclosed that Buhari’s administration facilitated the procurement of 16 fast attack craft, while the NN took delivery of one survey ship (NNS LANA).

The minister also said that within this period, the Nigerian Navy also took delivery of one landing ship transport (NNS KADA).

He added that 10 aluminum air boats had joined the NN fleet, while one AW 139 Leonardo and one A109SP helicopter had been delivered to the NN.

Magashi said that the NN survey ship NNS LANA had begun a systematic hydrographic survey and charting of the nation’s coastal and offshore waters.

He also said that the landing ship NNS KADA was recently returned from its deployment to Guinea Bissau on an ECOWAS mission.

The minister, however, said that in the coming months, the NN would take delivery of 2 by 76m Endurance Offshore Patrol vessels, 2 by 28m Fast Patrol Craft, and 40 by 9m Fast Patrol Boats and 80 Flat bottom Boats.

Magashi added that others were: 10 Aluminum AirBoats, three brand new helicopters and four type EP 55 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which would be integrated with the MDA systems.

The minister, who also spoke on the Federal Government’s aircraft acquisition and reactivation, disclosed that it had acquired 38 brand new aircraft to boost training and the combat readiness of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) since 2015.

He disclosed that the newly acquired aircraft included 10 Super Mushshak trainer aircraft, five Mi-35M helicopter gunships and two Bell 412 helicopters.

Others, according to him are: four Agusta 109 Power attack helicopters, two MI-171E helicopters, three JF-17 Thunder multi- role fighter aircraft and more recently 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft in addition to a number of Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs).

Magashi explained that the NAF had sustained reactivation of hitherto unserviceable platforms to upscale its capabilities in tackling insurgency, terrorism, armed banditry and other forms of criminality.

He said: “To this end, 17 previously grounded aircraft including the super puma, F-7Ni, EC-135, DO-228, Mi-24V, Mi-35P C-130H, L-39ZA and Alpha jet have been reactivated.

“Also, the Falcon 900 and ATR 42 aircraft had undergone C-CHeck inspection at facilities outside the country.

“Indeed for the first in its history, the NAF successfully conducted multiple in-country Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) of its platforms.”

Magashi said that the aircraft included two C-130H (NAF 917 and 913) in Lagos, and three L-39ZA aircraft in Kano, two Mi-35P, in Port Harcourt, as well as three Alpha Jet aircraft in Kainji, which also involved avionics upgrade.

“The latest additions of three JF-Thunder multi-role fighter aircraft and 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft recently inducted into the NAF Order of Battle are presently deployed in various theatres of operations across the country.

”This is to add impetus to the ongoing counterinsurgency and counterterrorism efforts in the country,” the minister said.