Nkemdilim Ofodile: Designer Of Nigeria’s First Indigenous Military-Grade Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

by Duchess Magazine
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Flight Lieutenant Nkemdilim Anulika Ofodile is an aerospace engineer with Nigeria Air Force. The only female in the team of Air Force’s aerospace engineers, Ofodile is credited for designing Nigeria’s first indigenous military-grade unmanned aerial vehicle. 

Nicknamed Tsaigumi, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was unveiled in 2018, and it was built in collaboration with UAVision of Portugal, Premium Times reported. 

The vehicle would be used for intelligence surveillance and recognizance operations in land and sea domains, the outlet reported citing a statement from the Air Force.

“I am happy to have worked under such a team of innovative people. We seem to have collaborated really nicely and everything we’ve done has resulted in the aircraft that was inducted including its ground control station,” she said of the UAV.

“The avionics team have done quite a lot to get the aircraft to where it is, including the structures team, those that designed the body of the aircraft itself,” she continued.  

“I do hope that we do get a chance to get some more people with such caliber of knowledge and experience to work with us in the future to upgrade into the new that will be worked on.”

Capable of day and night operations, the UAV has an operational endurance above 10 hours, a service ceiling of 15,000 feet and a mission radius of 100km with a maximum take-off weight of 95kg and its payload is an electro-optic/infra-red camera system.

The 31-year-old Ofodile holds a doctorate in Control Engineering from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. She is currently teaching HND, PGD, and MSc students in the Aircraft Maintenance and Aircraft Engineering Departments respectively at Nigeria’s Air Force Institute.

Ofodile has also been carrying out research and modifications on aircraft avionics and development of solutions to avionics issues experienced on Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft platforms, according to her LinkedIn profile. 

She is also hugely involved in the continuous collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of engineers on the development of the NAF “Gulma” UAV and other NAF research-related projects.

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