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The Nigerian Air Force inducted its first indigenous UAV, which will be used for ISR operations in land and sea. The Tsaigumi UAV, produced by the Nigerian Air Force Aerospace Engineers in collaboration with UAVision of Portugal, 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. In addition, it could be deployed for the protection of wildlife, weather forecast and telecast. In the maritime domain, the UAV could be used for search and rescue, coastal monitoring and patrol of Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
The Air Force said that this UAV is more advanced than its earlier produced Amebo and Gulma UAV prototypes, according to vanguardngr.com.
The UAV, which is capable of day and night operations, has an operational endurance in excess of 10 hours, a service ceiling of 15,000 feet and a mission radius of 100km. It has a maximum take-off weight of 95kg and its payload is an electro-optic/infra-red camera system, according to defenseworld.net.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) said that the newly produced Tsaigumi UAV possesses certain salient physical and performance parameters, which position it as an efficient tool for curbing internal security challenges.
Having achieved enhanced ISR capability, the next step for the Air Force is to perfect the development of another UAV, which would be the first indigenous Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).