The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has said that it has recorded a significant breakthrough in the area research and development with the reactivation of Communication Control Unit (CCU) of a trainer version of a fighter jet.

NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, who made this known described the development as a great feat in the research and development in the service.

Adesanya said that the reactivation of the Communications Control Unit (CCU) would enables instructor pilots and trainees to communicate with each other and the control tower while on training missions which hitherto had resulted in the grounding of the aircraft thereby hindering training of fighter pilots.

He said, “Ordinarily, it would take a minimum of 10 months and considerable cost in foreign exchange for the CCU to be repaired. ‘However, through the ingenuity and resourcefulness of NAF engineers and technicians at the recently established NAF Central Avionics Overhaul Calibration Centre (CAOCC), the faulty CCU was repaired locally in a record time of just one week”.

The statement made available to newsmen, in Abuja also said, “The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has recorded new breakthroughs in its Research and Development (R&D) efforts, leading to further enhancement of its aircraft maintenance capability.

“This became apparent when the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in company of the Chairman House Committee on Air Force, Honourable Samson Okwu, visited various NAF units in Makurdi on 23 June 2018.

“The Commander NAF CAOCC, Group Captain Osichinaka Ubadike, while briefing Honourable Okwu, the CAS and senior officers, stated that the CCU was repaired at a fraction of the cost of repairing it overseas.”

It further explained that the feat was recorded by:”A similar feat was recorded by the Engineering Wing of 101 Air Defence Group (ADG), where the old, unserviceable Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Rear Cockpit Head-Up-Display (HUD) of the F-7Ni aircraft was replaced with a modern Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) HUD at a cost of One Hundred Thousand Naira, as against about Two Hundred Thousand Dollars (about 80 Million Naira) that would have been required to procure the same unit from abroad.”

“Group Captain Precious Amadi, Commander of 101 ADG, accompanied by one of his officers, subsequently conducted a test flight and performed some aerobatics with the FT-7Ni aircraft to demonstrate the efficacy of the repairs/modification on the two aircraft systems.

“At the 131 Engineering Group (Engr Gp), the Commander, Air Commodore Pius Oahimire, revealed that the Unit’s recently reactivated Machine Tools Workshop had helped to modify the Battery Cart for the F-7Ni fighter aircraft. Hitherto, the cart always broke down after about a year of use thus requiring significant lead time to replace the batteries from overseas vendors.

“However, the Unit was able to modify the cart by fabricating accessories that would enable the use of local and readily available batteries, thereby reducing cost and downtime.

“The 131 Engr Gp had also designed and constructed a Foreign Objects Debris (FOD) Picker that would help to clear all ferrous FODs from the apron for enhanced safety.

“While in Makurdi, the Guest of Honour, Honourable Okwu, seized the opportunity to commission two recently completed projects. The first was a newly constructed and furnished block of 10 x single room flats for single officers, which was named after the immediate past Chief of Training and Operations (CTOPs) at NAF Headquarters, retired AVM Ahmed Iya, who was also present at the event.

“The second project was the newly constructed and equipped Cancer Screening Centre at 161 NAF Hospital. The Centre, which was named after a deceased former Director of Medical Services (DMS), late Air Commodore Emmanuel Nkanor, is equipped with modern diagnostic equipment and support infrastructure.

“In his remarks during the commissioning, Honourable Okwu stated that the two projects were testimonies of the sensitivity and responsiveness of the NAF’s leadership to the welfare needs of its personnel.

“He urged the benefitting officers of the SOQ to ensure they maintained the accommodation and charged them to rededicate themselves to accomplishing assigned tasks. ”

“He said he was excited that the services provided by the Cancer Screening Centre would not only impact positively on the health of NAF personnel but would also be accessed by the citizens of Benue State. He also expressed great satisfaction with the level of results achieved by the NAF in R&D.”

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