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Military Capabilities

Nigerian Air Force reactivates UAV training capability

13 July 2017

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) announced on 12 July that it had reactivated two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) used for training UAV pilots and operators.

One of the two Mugin UAVs that have been reactivated. (Nigerian Air Force)One of the two Mugin UAVs that have been reactivated. (Nigerian Air Force)

Operated by the 401st Flying Training School at Kaduna, the two UAVs are Chinese-made commercial Mugin models that were acquired for domestic training purposes. Both stopped flying earlier this year due to a shortage of spares, but have been reactivated by the Air Force Research and Development Centre (AFRDC).

According to the Chief of Logistics Air Vice Marshal Sambo Usman, who presided over the ceremony, the NAF had struggled to get training slots for its UAV operators in foreign countries, so was forced to develop a domestic solution and tasked the AFRDC to establish a UAV training capability and programme.

According to the NAF, nine officers have so far been trained domestically in UAV operations through the AFRDC programme and deployed operationally, including in support of the ongoing counter-insurgency effort against Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria.

The ceremony also saw the handover of a Dornier 228 transport aircraft that had been undergoing depot maintenance in Nigeria.

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