From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Air Force of Zimbabwe has solicited the assistance of the Nigerian Air Force(NAF), for the maintenance of two of its aircraft – F7 and Mi-35.
It has also solicited the support of the NAF, in the area of research and development.
Commander of the Zimbabwean Air Force Air Marshal Elson Moyo made the call when he visited the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Oladayo Amao, in his office at headquarters NAF, in Abuja.
He said the sanction imposed on his country had resulted in technical challenges in his service and failed the NAF for rescue.
NAF, Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore, Ayodele Famuyiwa, who made this known in a statement, reads; “Air Marshal Elson Moyo, Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ), expressed his country’s desire to explore technical assistance by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the areas of research and development, unmanned aerial vehicle technology as well as operation and maintenance of F7 and Mi-35 aircraft. The identified areas for collaboration, according to Air Marshal Moyo, are of common and peculiar aviation interests to Zimbabwe and Nigeria, whose air forces operate some similar aircraft.
The Zimbabwe Air Chief noted that the NAF within a short time has recorded remarkable feats in its transformation effort to develop indigenous capacity. This, he said, provides a motivation for the AFZ to look inward as part of efforts to address the technical challenges arising from sanctions imposed on his country, which has limited the AFZ’s ability to acquire basic aircraft parts and other technical aids necessary for operational efficiency. Air Marshal Moyo also commended the NAF for the support it gave to AFZ in the past, acknowledging the high-quality training given to the first batch of Zimbabwe pilots trained in the 1980s by the NAF, which he said informs the decision by AFZ to seek for improved synergy and collaboration with the NAF, with respect to capacity development.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has stated that the NAF is ready to forge a mutually beneficial partnership with the AFZ. Air Mshl Amao made the remarks while welcoming the Commander AFZ to Headquarters Nigerian Air Force (HQ NAF). The CAS stated that the NAF is currently in partnership with many countries, including African countries, and is willing to partner with others who will seek collaboration with the Service; noting that improved synergy among African countries is the solution to many of the challenges, including security, facing the continent. Air Mshl Amao further stated that collaboration in the areas of training, technical assistance and technology transfer will boost the capacity of African countries to be self-reliant and dependent in driving progress and development on the continent. Air Marshal Elson Moyo is on a week-long visit to Nigeria, during which he will be visiting some NAF units, including the North East.