The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) inducted its first indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) nicknamed, Tsaigumi on Feb. 15, 2018.
The induction ceremony was attended by Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria, and Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) of NAF. “Indeed, this outstanding accomplishment holds promise of both military and economic benefits to the nation. From the military perspective, the added capacity for ISR provided by Tsaigumi UAV would undoubtedly boost ongoing and future security operations”, said the President.
The Tsaigumi UAV, which was produced by NAF Aerospace Engineers in collaboration with UAVision of Portugal, would be used for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations in land and sea environment.
It 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. Additionally, in the maritime domain, the Tsaigumi UAV could be used for search and rescue (SAR), coastal monitoring and patrol of Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
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 (MTOW) of 95kg and its payload is an electro-optic/infra-red (EO/IR) camera system.
NAF is also developing another UAV nicknamed “Ichoku”, which would be the first indigenous Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) of Nigeria.