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Nigeria to launch indigenous helicopter December


A helicopter being manufactured in the country by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) on the instruction of president Muhammadu Buhari will be officially unveiled in December 2021, the agency’s Executive Vice Chairman, prof Mohammed Sani Haruna, has said.

Haruna disclosed this to Daily Trust after his visit to the Minister of Environment, Dr Mahmud Mohammed in Abuja on Thursday.

“We have already manufactured the jet engine, what is delaying the completion now is security clearance from the office of National Security Adviser, and fund to be able to source for the other components. By December of this year, we should launch the helicopter”, Haruna said.

He said the Ministry of Environment would soon send its technical team to assess the environmental impact the production of the aircraft could have.

He also revealed that the Ministry of Finance would be contacted for finance of the remaining part of the production.

President Muhammadu Buhari had instructed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and NASENI to conclude certification issues on the manufactured Made-in-Nigeria helicopter.

Haruna reiterated the commitment of the Buhari’s administration to launch the first Made in Nigeria non-commercial helicopter currently being manufactured at NASENI by December.

He said the president planned to launch the NASENI manufactured helicopter in the last quarter of year 2021.

Haruna said the required components parts to make the helicopter wholly Nigeria-made had been manufactured locally in Nigeria by NASENI and its partners. The tasks he said had been accomplished by the agency.

“As far back as 2016, following President Buhari’s directive, NASENI successfully designed and manufactured locally the first jet-engine for aircraft which was launched with funfair at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja”, he said.

He added: “What is left to be done to achieve the project according to NANSEN’S boss are the technical certifications by the relevant agencies in Nigeria and hence today’s visit to NCAA”.

Haruna had explained that earlier “a team from the NCAA had visited along with us in the factory of our technical partner, Dynali Helicopter Company, Belgium, since July 28 to August 3, 2019.

Earlier, the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed said the ministry would give support to NASENI in its quest to produce the helicopter.

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