Nigeria Air Force UAV unveiled
The President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has applauded the Nigerian Armed Forces for keeping the nation secured and technologically fit.
President Jonathan made the commendation at the unveiling ceremony of the Nigerian Air Force indigenous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) code named; ‘Gulma’ at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Kaduna.
The Nigerian Air Force, the president said, is in the right direction in the area of research and technolog, which is in line with his transformation agenda.
The President said that to retain the nation's importance in the international arena, we must continue to explore, invent and develop security equipments which meet international standard.
He congratulated the 11-man Officers of the Nigerian Air Force Pilot Engineering Team which constructed the UAV, adding that hardwork can break barriers.
In a remark, the Honourable Minister of Information who is also the Supervising Minister of Defence, Mr. Labaran Maku said that the armed forces are better off in a democratic government and promised to mobilize more funds to enable the armed forces perform their constitutional responsibilities.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal AS Badeh said that the UAV Gulma, could be used for both military and civilian purposes including patrol, surveillance, pipeline and weather monitoring, among others.
He said that the objective of the Nigerian Air Force is to manufacture a self-reliant indigenous equipment which could easily be maintained thereby minimizing huge foreign expenses.
He said that the cost of acquiring the equipment and training the pilots overseas is outrageous.
Air Marshal Badeh said that the UAV Gulma is like other aircraft, but it does not have a pilot nor passenger onboard and is remotely controlled.
The vehicle can take off and land from any suitable leveled ground, using just 12litres of fuel for 7hour flight. It has a surveillance camera that captures and records images from a height of 10,000ft above the ground within a radius of 100kilometers.
The event dovetailed into the year 2013 Chief of Air Staff Award night.
Dignitaries that graced the ceremony are; a representative of the Senate President, Senator Sekibo George Thompson,who is also the Chairman Senate Committee on Defence, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, His Excellency, Alh. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Mr. Aliyu Isma'ila, Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral OS Ibrahim, Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika, Former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal OO Petinrin, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, the Director, Air Force Affairs Department, Ministry of Defence, Mrs. Emontonghan E. Osaisai and others.