- The fighter aircrafts will be deployed after the NAF anniversary which is coming up next week
- The aircrafts which are attack helicopters which have top class navigation and avionics suite with multi-function coloured displays, target sights system
- A source said the attack helicopters will be used to achieve part of the planned offensive that the Air Force has in the works for militants in Ikorodu
The Punch is reporting that the Nigerian Air Force has taken delivery of two new Mi-35Ms Russian fighter helicopters.
It also reports that the Russian fighter jets would be deployed for operations after the NAF anniversary next week.
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It quoted sources as saying that the new aircrafts will participate in bombardment of positions in Ikorodu area of Lagos state to combat militant activities in the creeks there.
A top NAF source said: “I can confirm to you that the NAF has acquired two new Russian Mi-35M fighter jets, which could be deployed for this operation. The jets will be inducted into the inventory during the NAF anniversary next week.
“It doesn’t cost the military any efforts to bomb the creeks again. It is a big possibility now. But we want to put proper logistics in place to avoid an episode like the Rann camp in Borno State.”
Another source added: “The Operation Awatse men have been given marching orders from the DHQ to step up their game against the militants. They are working on various strategies, including an aerial strike. But it is premature to release lot of information.”
The report says that in what is called Operation Awatse, the military has concluded plans to launch an aerial offensive on Isawo in the Ikorodu area which is believed to be the militants’ stronghold.
But the military is keeping silent on details of the offensive.
The Punch quoted the Director, Defence Information; Major-General John Enenche as saying that no sensitive information would be released yet.
He said: “Just be patient with us. You don’t have to jump the gun. I have heard about the incident. We have information at the strategic level, which cannot go out yet.”
Enenche had urged the residents of Lagos and Ogun states to supply credible information to the military to boost the effectiveness of the ongoing Operation Awatse,
He said: “The Operation Awatse by the Armed Forces is aimed at curbing pipeline vandalism and petroleum products-related criminality with negative socio-economic consequence for the country.
“It is ongoing. Surveillance is key to the success of the military in this operation, which is based on accurate and timely intelligence. In this regard, the general public around Lagos and Ogun states in particular are very useful for more successes in this operation.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com gathered that the Nigerian Senate has ordered immediate deployment of helicopter, gunboats to Lagos state to combat the recurrent militant attacks in state.
The Senate made the demand on Tuesday, April 11 based on a motion moved by Senator Gbenga Ashafa (APC/Lagos East) during plenary.