Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Research and Development Bureau (DRDB) said it has concluded plans to produce equipment and products that would make soldiers fighting the counter-insurgency war become invisible to the Boko Haram sect and other terrorists group ravaging the peace of the country.
The equipment known as the Ramon Improvised Explosive Device (IED), materials detector, would act as an early warning system to troops so as not to fall into mines and other obstacles put in place by the terrorists to prevent them from carrying out their operations.
The Director-General of DRDB, Air Vice Marshal O.J Osahon, who made this known in an interview in Abuja, said the equipment which is the first of its kind in the world would be made available to troops in the next two months.
He said providing the equipment for troops has become necessary as it would boost operational efficiency in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations. When fully deployed, Osahon, said the Ramon IED detector would boost morale of troops and make them go the extra mile and achieve positive result.
Osahon, who said the product which is solely, locally designed, added that his organization is partnering the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO), to use their laboratory produces the equipment.
According to him, “the equipment is going to act as a kind of early-warning system, in other words it’s like giving the troops additional eyes so they would not stumble into some obstacles and some mines that have been laid.
“This equipment will give them the capability to have early detection and now take the necessary action.
On when the equipment would be provided for the troops, he said: “The interesting thing is that this whole effort was designed in Nigeria with about four professors and some distinguished engineers and some military officers within six months. We designed it with a standoff distance of about fifty meters and this is the first time in the world.
“There is no other place in the world where they have this.
“Our partners that we are collaborating with, all we needed is to use their laboratory because unfortunately there is no such laboratory in Nigeria to perfect the work because we needed to integrate it since it is laser-based.
“It’s a specialized equipment and needs a specialized laboratory. So we had to look out for ally and people we consider friendly.
“It was in the process that we decided based on approval we got from appropriate superior authorities to work with India.
“We had some initial challenges but good a thing it has been resolved and today we have signed the project agreement and within two months.
“The DRDB, all over the world, great armed forces have their department of research and technology. The organization we are working with in India, is a big organization and they produce over 75% of equipment that the armed forces of India require and they also export.
“So, research is the bedrock. If you don’t have research you cannot make progress, you can’t move forward because it will help you to do things better. It will help you to be innovative; it will help you to come up with ideas and if we have been combating insurgency for over ten years and these challenges are unique, the challenges must be unique.
“They must be indigenous and it is an organization such as ours the research development that will identify; even the indigenous efforts to bring them together then get the needed defence solution to counter all these challenges in the field.
“So DRD will help to enhance the operational efficiency and effectiveness of our troops.
“DRDB, has come up with some novel products that would make even our troops invisible and you know that means. So they would go the extra mile and they will achieve so much result beyond human reasoning and that is only what research and development can do.”