The Nigerian Air Force duing the 47th convocation ceremony of the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Kaduna yesterday, 27 July 2018 showcased some new technological innovation.
The service which has been in the forefront of Research and Development (R&D) in Nigeria over the past years, unveiled some aeronautical projects which includes; a prototype Unmanned Hexacopter, Oleo-Pneumatic Shock Absorber for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), an Automatic Solar Tracking System and a Rocket Launcher Circuit Test Box.
Others were a prototype of Light Weight Helicopter, similar to the recently unveiled Nigerian Army-made Helicopter Project, as well as the adaptation and installation of BO-105 Helicopter guns on the Bell 412 Helicopters recently handed over to the NAF by the Federal Government.
The Oleo-Pneumatic Shock Absorber was designed and produced by AFIT students, using entirely locally sourced materials, and has undergone several comprehensive test. The Oleo-Pneumatic Shock Absorber will be installed to all NAF’s indigenous UAVs.
Furthermore, the Automatic Solar Tracker was also designed by students from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). It will be used to maximize the harvest of solar energy.
The Rocket Launcher Circuit Test Box was developed to test continuity in rocket launchers in aid of maintenance activities on NAF’s fighter aircraft.
Also displayed was weaponized Bell 412 Helicopter which was fitted with two modified decommissioned BO-105 helicopter gunpod procured in 1970.
The gunpods have been successfully test fired, both in the air and on the ground.
Nigerian Air Force Self-Sufficiency Drive
These innovative efforts are coming at a time when the country is pushing for a self-sufficiency drive to better deal with its internal and external commitments.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force has recently taken delivery of multiple aircraft types to increase it’s operational capacity. Such as the Russian made Mi-35N assault helicopter, Super Mushshak trainer and is also expecting delivery of Embraer EMB 315 Super Tucano counter-insurgency aircraft and three PAC JF-17 Thunder block II multirole combat jet.
Last week, the NAF also successfully conducted a major in-house life extension refit on one of its Lockhheed Martins C-130H hercules tactical transport aircraft.