‘Air Force has recovered its ‘broken wings’
Inducts Chinese multi-role combat aircraft
By PHILIP NWOSU
Thursday, April 08, 2010
The Nigerian Air Force said with the arrival of its F7 aircraft and the successful test of the fighter plane, it has now recovered its broken wings.
Indeed, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin said with the successful test of the Chinese multi-role combat aircraft which was recently acquired by the Nigerian Air Force, the force had really returned to the good days.
He spoke during the commissioning of the renovated sports complex and gymnasium at the Sam Ethnan Air Force base Ikeja, saying the Federal Government had empowered the force to reactivate all its inactive aircraft for proper protection of the country’s territorial integrity.
The Federal Government had in 2005 approved $251 million for the purchase of 15 Chengdu F-7 fighters from China. The deal includes 12 F-7NI single seat fighters, and 3 FT-7NI dual-seat trainers. The $251 million package includes $220 million for 15 aircraft, plus $32 million for armaments, including 20 live PL-9C AAM, 10 training PL-9 rounds, unguided rockets, and 250/500 kg bombs. Nigerian pilots began their training in China in 2008, with delivery of the aircraft to begin in 2009.
The Chengdu F-7 is a Chinese-built version of the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21.
He said: “Indeed, the problems we have now in the Air Force is that we need pilots because the aircraft are there, but we need more pilots.”
Petinrin said while efforts to sustain fleet enhancement was on, barracks accommodation and facilities were also being renovated to improve on the general well-being of all ranks.
The NAF chief said the problems of the Air Force at this moment was training of pilots to man its new platforms, adding that efforts were on to ensure that the junior officers’ quarters at the Ikeja NAF base would be reconstructed to accommodate 240 units of modern terrace houses.
While urging NAF personnel to rededicate themselves to the achievement of the NAF objectives as a way of reciprocating all that the government was doing to meet their operational and welfare needs, Air Marshall Petinrin said it planned to assist in the completion of two blocks of 12 flats abandoned by the Ministry of Defence to ease accommodation for its personnel.
His words: “What we have done is that, in this year’s budget we have allocated funds for the completion of those abandoned projects. Of course, that money is not in the Air Force, it is in the Ministry of Defence, we will go back to the Ministry of Defence to make sure that those funds allocated for the abandoned project will be quickly utilized to solve our accommodation problems.”
Friday, April 09, 2010
J-7 Still Sells.
Posted by Coatepeque at 12:40 PM