The Nigerian Air Force has put to combat use an aerial rocket system wholly designed and developed by it’s engineers.
Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao made this announcement during the disbursement of NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF) award letters and presentation of patent certificates in Abuja on Tuesday 29 June.
Air Marshal Amao who was represented at the event by the Nigerian Airforce’s Chief of Standard and Evaluation (COSE) Air Vice Marshal Olusegun Risalvato Philip said the rocket launcher which had already been mass produced was wholly owned by the NAF.
“What Nigerians don’t know is that the rocket launcher we currently use in fight against insurgency in the north east was developed and made in Nigeria here by the Nigerian Airforce (NAF)”, he said.
Apparently, the rocket launcher has been patented by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) is as good and effective as any other made by foreign companies.
The Air Force chief also said the NAF has the highest number of technological and scientific innovations among the three military services in the country.
In his address, the Minister of State for Science and Technology Barrister Mohammed H. Abdullahi said the federal government was not relenting in its effort to reduce importation of goods and products that could be produced in Nigeria.
Abdullahi said the government would work to smoothen the relationship between academic and industry to facilitate technology transfer process.
The minister noted Nigeria’s weak culture of Intellectual Property protection and lack of synergy between the academic and private sector had resulted in absence of value creation and stagnated economy.
The said rocket is the 30.1mm rockets designed and constructed by NAF Research and Development Centre using locally sourced materials.
It was successfully tested during the 2017 NAF day celebration at the Weapons Meet at Kwenev Air Range, Makurdi to commemorate the 53rd anniversary celebration of the NAF., the warheads offers fragmentation and blast characteristics.
Also produced by the NAF R&D were the ground based rail launcher and vehicle mounted rail rocket launcher. The rocket launchers are fired through a remotely controlled firing based system. Four NAF aircrafts NAF aircraft including the Augusta 109 LUH, L-39ZA, Alpha Jet and F-7Ni can be retrofitted with the rocket launcher.