The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), says it is set to upgrade its partnership with Hungary, in the areas of fighter pilot training, operation and maintenance of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) cameras.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, AVM Ibikunle Daramola, disclosed this in a statement on Friday, in Abuja, on behalf of the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
Abubakar, while receiving the Hungarian Consul-General to Nigeria, Mr Endre Deri, and the Chief Executive Officer, Hungarian Magnus Aircraft Manufacturing Factory, Mr Laszo Boros, noted that the partnership had become imperative in these trying times.
“Developing bilateral and multilateral partnerships in the war against terror has become necessary because of the global nature of terrorism and its attendant negative impact, in the form of population dislocation due to forced migration, as well as socio-economic upheavals, if not effectively dealt with,” he said.
He noted that the partnership between NAF and Hungary would enable the service to take advantage of the competencies available in Hungary, to address some of the technical challenges the service was currently facing in its combat operations.The CAS expressed the willingness of the service to send a team to Hungary, to assess the available opportunities for aircraft and associated equipment acquisition, human capacity development, and Research/Development (R&D), among others.
“As you are aware we are fighting a counter-insurgency war in the North-East and the aircraft produced by the Hungarian Magnus Aircraft Manufacturing Factory, which has ISR capability, would be useful in adding value to what we are doing in the zone and other theatres of operations,” he said.
Abubakar highlighted other areas of interest to NAF to include: the training of fighter pilots, aircraft technicians/ engineers and capacity development for the operation and maintenance of ISR payloads and ISR imagery analysis.Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, Hungarian Magnus Aircraft Manufacturing Factory, Laszo Boros, said the visit was aimed at seeking avenues to strengthen strategic partnership for aircraft and associated equipment sales and capacity building.
He said that the company was willing to provide bespoke solutions that would support the operations of NAF in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country.Similarly, the Consul-General, Endre Deri expressed preparedness to deepen partnership with NAF, to further improve on the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Hungary in the area of capacity building.
Other chiefs present during the visit were Headquarters NAF Branch Chiefs and other senior NAF officers.