President Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled a surveillance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) produced locally by the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology.
The development is part of the Federal Government efforts to tackle insecurity in the country.
The UAC codenamed TSAIGUMI is the first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to be produced in the country and will be used to fight terrorism, armed banditry and other sophisticated crimes through enhanced air surveillance.
Daily Trust reports that the president also inspected 10 Super Mushshak aircraft recently procured by the Nigerian Air Force from Pakistan.
During the unveiling of the drone, the president said: “It is a pleasure to be here with you all for the induction of the Nigerian Air Force Unmanned Aerial Vehicle,‘TSAIGUMI’, Nigeria’s first indigenously developed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The significance of this accomplishment as a milestone of national technological development cannot be over-estimated. In this regard, I must commend the efforts of the current leadership of the Nigerian Air Force, notably the Chief of Air Staff who is performing his assignments wonderfully well.”
“The world is witnessing an ever increasing surge in the employment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in military operations because, while standard air weapons such as missiles, fighters and bombers work against well-defined targets like conventional enemy forces or installations, they are not as useful in today’s complex wars that are fought against adversaries who are often hidden amongst innocent populations or in locations similarly sensitive or difficult to strike by normal conventional means.
“Unmanned Aerial Vehicle can loiter and maintain an ‘‘unblinking stare’’ over a chosen area for hours. Thanks to the ability to ‘‘watch and wait’’, its operator, often miles away, can provide a continuous stream of vital information on enemy activities and if the platform is weaponised, it patiently chooses the best moment to engage.
“Thus the employment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capabilities for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and where possible, strike operations significantly increases the chances of success while minimising unwanted collateral damage.
“Government remains determined, despite numerous challenges to bring about the much-needed CHANGE that will lift our beloved nation to its rightful place as a major economic and political force on the world stage.
“From the military perspective, the added capacity for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance provided by the TSAIGUMI will boost ongoing and future security operations. As this project moves into the next stage, which is mass production, it would create employment and possibly generate revenue as Nigeria’s first military export product.”