The Nigerian Air Force revealed that its Alpha jets fleets were almost grounded but for the efforts of local auto mobile manufacturers Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) which adapted new brake systems for the entire fleet.
The Air Force on Wednesday said, that Innoson “helped to locally modify and overhaul the brake assembly of the MB-339 aircraft for adoption on the Alpha Jets and also helped for the continued operation of the Alpha Jets, and had helped to save the day when help was not forthcoming from abroad”.
This was disclosed in a statement released by the Nigerian Air Force Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa while receiving the Chairman IVM, Mr Innocent Chukwuma and team members in his office.
He said the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar has applauded the management of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company for its support to the military by providing technical support that has enabled the Nigerian Air Force to sustain its operations against the Boko Haram insurgents.
The Air Chief noted that the contribution by IVM deserves national recognition and award, given the important role played by the Alpha Jet in the ongoing counter insurgency operations in North East Nigeria.
“This ingenious effort by IVM is instrumental to the continued operation of the Alpha Jets, and had helped to save the day when help was not forthcoming from abroad,” Famuyiwa stated.
Famuyiwa quoted the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) as saying; “Beyond the feat, the NAF is poised to exploit the possibilities of mass producing the Alpha Jet break assembly and other parts locally by partnering with IVM, as well as other credible organisations, to build own capacity for enhanced self-reliance.”
Air Vice Marshal Abubakar stated that the company not only saved the country huge foreign exchange that otherwise would have been spent abroad but also added value to Nigeria through provision of job opportunities.