The Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Hidayet Bayraktar, has expressed the readiness of Turkey to deepen the existing defence collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) through transfer of defence technology.
Bayraktar said this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Headquarters NAF, on Wednesday in Abuja.
This is contained in a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, in Abuja.
The Ambassador said that Turkey had, over the years, collaborated with the NAF and would not relent in ensuring that the partnership was taken to a much higher level.
He also assured that his country would 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.
Bayraktar promised to ensure the delivery of TK-1 helicopters to the NAF as scheduled as well as ensuring their sustenance through an effective maintenance strategy with the NAF.
Responding, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, thanked the Ambassador for his assurances and noted that the NAF would leverage on the opportunities presented to improve its Research and Development (R&D) drive.
Abubakar added that the offer of technology transfer aptly aligned with one of the key enablers of his Command Philosophy, which prioritised R&D leveraging cutting-edge technology as well as lessons learnt.
He said that the support of the Turkish Government was key to sustaining the ongoing country insurgency operations in Nigeria and implored the ambassador to use his office to help fast-track the delivery of the six TK-1 helicopters to Nigeria.
The CAS emphasised the painstaking resolve of the NAF to capitalise 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.