The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has expressed its readiness to partner with Shell Companies in Nigeria by deploying its Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to help secure the companies’ oil and gas pipelines and other critical oil installations in the Niger Delta region.
This would ensure that the maritime domain was safe for social and economic activities by preventing oil-theft, pipeline vandalism, militancy, kidnapping and other forms of economic sabotage.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this in Abuja while playing host to the Managing Director and Country Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor.
Air Marshal Abubakar noted that, over the years, the NAF had been actively involved in the security of oil pipelines, protection of critical national assets and general safety of the maritime environment.
According to him, the recent development of the capability to produce UAVs had enabled the NAF to induct an operational drone named TSAIGUMI.
He further explained that the newly inducted UAV, which has day and night capability, has an operational endurance in excess of 10 hours, a service ceiling of 15,000 feet and a mission radius of 100km.
“The TSAIGUMI could also be used for policing operations, disaster management, convoy protection, maritime patrol, pipeline and power line monitoring as well as mapping and border patrol duties”,He stated that the NAF was ready to partner with Shell Companies in Nigeria to produce more of the TSAIGUMI UAV, an option that would be more cost effective than importing drones from other countries.
He said this would help develop local content as well as save more foreign exchange for the country.
“Accordingly, the Service would be willing to send experts to Shell to make presentation on the capabilities of the TSAIGUMI UAV and explore mutually beneficial ways to better secure Shell facilities while further developing the NAF’s UAV capability”,The CAS also informed the visiting Managing Director about the agreement with the Kaduna State Government, which was to acquire UAVs for the NAF to help operate towards further securing the State.
Enhance Security of Companies
He noted that the replication of such an arrangement with the Shell Companies Nigeria would enhance the security of the Companies’ facilities.
Air Marshal Abubakar added that the NAF would willingly deploy its Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft for surveillance whenever the Company requested for it.
The Managing Director thanked the NAF for its continuous support, which had spanned many decades. – VON.