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Army to spend N3.350b for new aviation unit, drone command centre

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The Nigerian Army has mapped out N2,555,713,396 to operationalise its revived aviation unit in the 2024 budgetary proposal.

In the 2024 budget estimate submitted by President Bola Tinubu to the National Assembly, the army also set aside N850m for the establishment of its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drone) command.

Army Chief, Taoreed Lagbaja, in September explained that the Army had to revive the aviation unit in 2024 to complement ground troops’ responsiveness, agility and efficiency during operations.

While citing countries like the United States, Egypt, Kenya and Pakistan, Lagbaja said their aviation units had shown effectiveness in combating contemporary security threats and providing vital support for ground forces.

In line with this, the army chief revealed during the opening of the maiden Nigerian Army Aviation seminar in Abuja on September 26 that the President had approved the procurement of 12 MD 530F Cayuse Attack Helicopters by the army.

He said during the event, “I am happy to inform you that the Nigerian Army is willing to learn from the army aviation journeys of the countries mentioned earlier. Our willingness to learn from them is to adapt their best practices to suit our unique operational environment and avoid their mistakes.

“The COAS said the army had submitted the aviation outfit to the Nigerian Air Force for proper mentoring.”

Speaking further, he said the army was willing to learn from the army aviation journeys of other countries and that the “willingness to learn from them is to adapt their best practices to suit our unique operational environment and avoid their mistakes. The army had submitted the aviation outfit to the air force for proper mentoring.”

Meanwhile, in an interview with Arise Television on Tuesday night, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, said there was nothing unusual for the army to have an aviation unit.

He had said, “The navy has helicopters, ships and Special Forces; the air force has fixed wings, helicopters and Special Forces; the army has Special Forces, land forces, amphibious forces and helicopters, including drones.

“We operate jointly and everybody has a role to play. The Army Aviation has been established, while the air force has its own. The pilots are well trained and well prepared for the operations. I just want to remind individuals that it is war we are fighting here and as human beings, we all make mistakes and this is one of them. It was not deliberate.”

 

 

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