The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Turkey, His Excellency Mr Hidayet Bayraktar, has expressed the readiness of his country to heighten the already existing defence collaboration between the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the Turkish Government, through the transfer of defence technology.
A statement by NAF spokesperson Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet Wednesday disclosed that the Ambassador stated this while on a courtesy visit to Headquarters NAF.
The Ambassador noted that Turkey has, over the years, collaborated with the NAF and would not relent in ensuring that the partnership is taken to a much higher level.
He also assured that his country will not only sell defence products to the NAF but would be happy to assist the NAF develop its capacity to manufacture and maintain some of the products.
On the execution of the already existing TK-1 helicopter procurement agreement with the NAF, Ambassador Bayraktar promised to ensure the delivery of the platforms as scheduled as well as ensuring their sustenance through an effective maintenance strategy with the NAF.
In his response, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, thanked the Ambassador for his assurances and noted that the NAF will leverage on the opportunities presented to improve its Research and Development (R&D) drive.
He further stated that the offer of technology transfer aptly aligns with one of the key enablers of his Command Philosophy, which prioritizes R&D leveraging cutting-edge technology as well as lessons learnt.
Speaking further, the CAS noted that the support of the Turkish Government is key to sustaining the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in Nigeria and implored the Ambassador to use his office to help fast-track the delivery of the 6 TK-1 helicopters to Nigeria.
The CAS then used the opportunity of the visit to emphasize the painstaking resolve of the NAF to capitalize on the prospects presented by key partners to develop and enhance NAF’s capability to effectively secure the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
Highlight of the visit include the symbolic laying of wreath by the Ambassador at the NAF Memorial Arcade in honour NAF personnel who paid the ultimate price in the defence of Nigeria.