The Minister of Defence (HMOD), Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, and the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, have embarked on a mission to Turkey to expedite the delivery of T-129 ATAK helicopters acquired for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) by the Federal Government. Their visit also encompasses crucial discussions with Turkish counterparts to bolster bilateral and defense cooperation.
In an official statement signed by Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, Director of Public Relations and Information, the HMOD and CAS held talks with Lieutenant General Yasar Guler (Rtd), the Turkish Minister of Defense. During the meeting, General Guler pledged unwavering support from the Turkish military and defense companies to fortify and hasten the efforts to combat terrorism and other security challenges in Nigeria.
In addition to diplomatic talks, the Nigerian defense officials embarked on visits to select Turkish companies, including Turkish Aerospace Industries, MKE, Aselsan, and Roketsan. These entities are globally renowned for their production of high-quality defense and military equipment. During these visits, the HMOD stressed the importance of bolstering cooperation between these companies and Nigeria, particularly through the transfer of defense technology.
It’s worth noting that the Federal Government of Nigeria had previously procured six T-129 ATAK helicopters from the Turkish Aerospace Industry, with two scheduled for imminent delivery to the NAF. The remaining helicopters are anticipated to arrive before the close of the Second Quarter of 2024.
The trip to Turkey signifies Nigeria’s commitment to strengthening its defense capabilities and furthering its partnership with global defense leaders. The successful delivery of the T-129 ATAK helicopters will not only enhance Nigeria’s defense capabilities but also serve as a testament to the nation’s dedication to addressing security challenges in the region.