The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is expected to receive eight new armed unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs).
Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar reportedly revealed the acquisition during a visit to an air component deployed at Katsina in the northwest of the country on 8 October. He added that about 70 personnel have been selected to travel to China to be trained to operate and maintain the new UCAVs.
The UCAVs are expected to be deployed in Katsina, Gombe, and Gusau.
The Nigerian Air Force is expected to adopt the new 203 Combat Reconnaissance Group (203 CRG), which will operate the UCAVs.
It is important to pint out that Gusau in Zamfara state, west of Katsina, does not currently have a paved runway for the UCAVs, despite the fact that the Nigerian Air Force deployed ground forces to the city earlier this year in the form of a Quick Reaction Group.
The Nigerian Air Force has been operating Chinese-made CH-3 UAVs that can carry guided weapons for at least five years.
CH-3 is a fixed wing UCAV of the Rainbow series. The CH-3 UCAV adopts a usual layout in that it appears to be an scaled downed version of Jetcruzer 450, so CH-3 lacks centrally located vertical tail, but has large winglets and canards.
The system Propulsion is provided by a three-blade propeller driven by a pusher engine mounted on empennage. The main landing wheels of the tricycle landing gear has fairing to reduce drag.