From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
THE Nigerian Air Force, yesterday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, Nnewi for research and production of spare parts for its fighter jets.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, told newsmen in Nnewi, Anambra that the collaboration between the company and the Air Force had kept its jet fleet running for months now.
Abubakar, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Air Vice-Marshal James Gbum, said the MoU would further solidify the collaboration, improve local content and engineering as well as save the country a lot of foreign exchange used in importing the expensive parts.
“Our war efforts will be in vain if we don’t do something to ensure we get spare parts because, the Alpha Jets for instance some of our fighter aircraft that have formed the back-bone of our struggle against Boko Haram, were once down due to lack of spare parts and mainly the break assemblies of these aircrafts.
“The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar immediately ordered our research and development cell in Kaji to start to research into this break assembly overhaul. Tey went ahead, carried out the research. However, the first proto-type they brought couldn’t pass the test. The Nigerian Air Force later discovered that Innoson Vehicle Maintenance Company at Nnewi, Anambra State are capable of collaborating with the Nigerian Air Force to achieve the required standards of overhauling our break assemblies,” Abubakar said.