The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in its resolve to promote innovation and enhance its Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities on Thursday, inducted its first indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) nicknamed, Tsaigumi.
President Buhari, while commending NAF for the technological breakthrough in production of TSAIGUMI, said the outstanding accomplishment by the force holds promise of both military and economic benefit to the nation.
The Tsaigumi UAV, which was produced by NAF Aerospace Engineers in collaboration with UAVision of Portugal, would be used for ISR operations in land and sea domains. It could also be used for policing operations, disaster management, convoy protection, maritime patrol, pipeline and power line monitoring as well as mapping and border patrol duties.
The drone said to be Nigeria’s first indigenously produced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV by NAF has the capability for surveillance and emergency purpose, while enabling precision in military operations in the northeast
On the military perspective, the President said the benefit included added capacity for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, while the economic aspect it will create employment and possibly generate revenue as Nigeria’s first military export product.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Baba Abubakar said appliance of the unmanned Aerial Vicle, would enable precision and minimum collateral damage.
He said NAF was partnering with other private sectors for mass production of the TSAIGUMI drone for national economic purpose and deployment to war front.
“UAVs in contemporary times have become the preferred medium for accurate and real time intelligence gathering, remote sensing, weapon delivery as well as conveyance of materials for both military and civilian purposes.
“That is why the need for capacity development in the area of UAVs and other scientific and technological innovations has been foremost in my mind since I assumed the leadership of the Air Force.”
“In implementing this key driver, the NAF has entered into MoU with 16 Nigerian universities and is currently conducting R&D with 5 of the universities aimed at addressing some of our aircraft maintenance challenges.
“The NAF is re-strategizing to take full advantage of this Order using local competencies to move its R&D Programmes to a much higher level,” he added.