MOWAG Piranha APC of the Nigerian Army, refurbished at the Special Vehicle Plant, Bauchi for UN PKO

MOWAG Piranha APC of the Nigerian Army, refurbished at the Special Vehicle Plant, Bauchi for UN PKO

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies


  1. doziex says:

    hey Beeg, aside from the scorpion ifv and the pirahna shown here, has any other military, tanks,apcs being refurbished at this facility in bauchi ? e.g the steyr APCs. It was mentioned in the news that 80 tanks were refurbished recently, but with no further info. Were they MBTs??. Any further info is much appreciated.

    • beegeagle says:

      No specific details were given about that but the numbers entailed might provide pointers.

      When the outgone COAS commissioned about 235 SinoTruk-type heavy duty trucks late in 2009, he did state that 400 units of armoured vehicles had been refurbished and/or upgraded in-country. That got me thinking that the numbers involved and the fact that they were ab initio assembled at that Special Vehicle Plant, could only mean that the pool of vehicles involved would have been dominated Steyr 4K-7FA APCs.

      But that still left a balance to be accounted for and we do know that around 2005-6, we read reports in the Nigeria media to the effect that the SPV (read, Nigerian military engineers) and Messrs Marshpearl of Ireland were upgrading 36 units of Scorpion light tanks.

      With the announcement of the completion of work on another batch of 80 armoured vehicles last July by the incumbent COAS and the date embossed on this photograph, it is safe to say that all 480 units of armoured vehicles refurbished and/or upgraded since the time that reports first emerged in the media to that effect would include, but are not necessarily limited to,

      * Steyr APCs
      * Scorpion tanks
      * Mowag Piranha APCs.

      Based on long service considerations alone, there is a distinct possibility that some older stock T55 tanks might have been involved, not forgetting long-serving Fox scout cars, Panhard AML 90 and AML 60 AFVs which number a few hundreds.

      The comparative freshness in the inventory of BTR-3s and Otokar Cobra APCs, factory refurbished MT-LB and BTR-70s which were acquired from Poland and Ukraine, the Panhard Sagaie tank killers and Engesa Cascavel AFVs and Panhard VBL scout cars, all of which are numbered in the high hundreds, means that those are ruled out of that possibility.

  2. beegeagle says:

    We forgot to say, as can be seen from the date embossed on this photo, that this MOWAG Piranha was one of the eighty(80) armoured vehicles which the Chief of Army Staff spoke about last July when he mentioned the fact that the said number of armoured vehicles had undergone refurbishment at the Special Vehicle Plant and had been delivered to the NA

  3. Henry says:

    Hey beeg, i love your blog, i’m a regular visitor. Good job!!!! Pls, i want to ask, do we have our own made in nigeria assault rifle( origin, nigeria)? The rifles used by the army and mopol ( ak’s), what brand are they ( new, with folding butt)? And finally, do the special forces ( army nd navy) use any modern rifles (asides the ak47 shown during parades)? Thanx.

    • beegeagle says:

      Thanks for your words of encouragement,Henry.

      The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria have developed an assault rifle designated as NR-1(NR for Nigerian Rifle) and are awaiting the completion of work on its production line which is currently under construction.

      The Special Forces have only ever been seen or pictured clutching AK rifles while the SSS wield the Tavor.

      Check back later today for new and interesting posts…

  4. Yagazie Nwaigwe says:

    Hi Beeg,

    I’ve been following your blog religously for about a year now and must say that you are very well informed about Nigeria’s millitary matters. As a Nigerian who has a keen amateur interest in millitary matters, I take great delight in reading your well informed/researched blog. Please keep up the excellent work.

    I’d appreciate your thoughts/comments on a particular issue.

    The Nigerian Navy as part of it’s 10 year expansion/procurement plan intends to aquire (amongst others) a Landing Platform Dock. I am aware that the Royal Australian Navy recently retired two of its amphibious warships – HMAS Kanimbla and HMAS Manoora. They were originally built and commissioned in 1971 for the US Navy as LSTs (Landing Ship Tanks) and were acquired and extensively modified by the Royal Australian Navy in 1994.

    Their primary role was to transport, lodge ashore and support an Army contingent of up to 450 troops, their vehicles and equipment. Manoora was fitted with a helicopter hanger capable of supporting up to three Navy Sea King helicopters or four Army Black Hawks. Kanimbla was fitted with the largest and most comprehensive medical facilities in the RAN fleet, with a 40 bed hospital incorporating full surgical and recovery facilities. Two helicopters could operate simultaneously from the aft flight deck, while a third could operate from the flight deck located forward of the bridge.

    Granted they are both old and require extensive repair works, but the advantage in acquiring these vessels for the Nigerian Navy could be as follows:

    (1) Having been withdrawn from service in 2011, they could be acquired at a reasonable cost and refurbished -preferably at the Nigerian Naval Dockyard in Lagos). It will beat the cost of acquiring brand new vessels (which will be in the region of at least $250 million per vessel).

    (2) Having 2 Naval commands (Western and Eastern) a vessel could be sent to each of the commands.

    (3) These vessels will greatly enhance the navy’s ability to maintain a reasonable continous -at -sea detterance.

    (4) They could also be used for humanitarian missions within the West African or indeed the African sub-region, thus enhancing /reinforcing Nigeria’s peace keeping role in Africal.

    Check out these vessels on Google – and let us know what you think.

    Kind Regards

    • beegeagle says:

      Wow, where do we begin from! You guys are so generous with your words of encouragement.

      In my quiet moments, one does consider himself lucky to have brilliant, insightful and patriotic Nigerians with strategic mindsets such as yourself, XNur44, Jimmy, Chidi, Doziex, Bode Olayinka, Hussaini, Chief Iheme, Suya et al, on here. Not forgetting non-Nigerians readers, such as my senior in high school and a world-class defence analyst, Maz.

      Thank you all for your classy contributions, moral support and clear articulation.

      Yagazie, like we did with the question posed by Hussaini earlier this week, we are going to have to put together a thread dedicated to the matter which you have just raised.

      Pls check back in about two hours from now.

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