A Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet at Lungi Airport, Sierra Leone, January 1999

A Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet at Lungi Airport, Sierra Leone, January 1999

ABUJA, May 2 (Xinhua)

A Nigerian Air Force F7-Ni single seat fighter jet, on a routine training exercise, crashed on Wednesday close to the Kaduna International Airport.

Spokesperson for the force Air Commodore Yusuf Anas disclosed this in a statement reaching Xinhua, saying that the pilot on board the aircraft ejected safely. The statement said a Search and Rescue Team from the Nigerian Air Force 301 Flying Training School, Kaduna, immediately rescued the pilot who is in a stable condition.

The statement said the pilot was receiving treatment at the Nigerian Air Force Aero Medical Hospital, Kaduna. No fatality was reported on the ground.


About beegeagle

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


  1. Henry says:

    Mr doziex, apologies are in offer. We don’t have fighter jets. How many of these jets have crashed already. Without any taste of real action. This should be like the fourth crash since we bought these jets.

    • doziex says:

      None necessary boss,
      it’s funny, they(NAF) are not even bothering to replace them. Usually, an insurance plan with the manufacturer allows for the replacement of air crafts lost to mechanical error.

      But wetin we go do ? Our esteemed senator( anybody got his name ?) says we still have
      FLENTY mig-21s parked in markurdi air base.

      However, air accidents and deaths are par for the course, when it comes to maintaining an air force.
      Some would say that an increased rate of air crashes correlates to the increase in training and other flight activity.

      For instance, the IAF and the USAF do have a fairly high accident rate. At the end of the day, possessing an air force with all the technical, engineering and financial commitment it entails, is not for the faint of heart.

  2. beegeagle says:

    I understand what Doziex is saying. It dovetails into the saying that “a training airforce is a crashing airforce”. But is there something wrong with this variant of F7s, seeing that Namibia, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are F7 user nations and we do not get to hear about this number of crashes?

  3. Henry says:

    Okay, OGA doziex. I read somewhere (can’t remember), the pakistani’s call the f7 “flying coffins”. It’s quite sad, the amount of crashes by the f7nr. Replacements have to be made soon. I just hope that they go for extensive trainings, coz my sure 50% of the crashes might be down to pilot area. 4 birds down, without any action. The crash rate is quite alarming.

  4. Kanayo says:

    Base on d notification of d crash wat was considered as d main cause of dis crash and wat d remady to stop such crash in future or next.

  5. chidez says:

    Falling down like birds…….two crashes in less than a year, I remember seeing the last F7 that crashed before this one in the skies around 9am (NAF did not fly the alpha jet that day) only to hear that it crashed around 11am.

    We have lost more than $20 million in less than a year.

  6. tim says:

    Let them change this aircraft or ground them totally……..the crashes are too much……they ought to look at the maintainace crew, the aircrafts, the parts and the pilot errors……

  7. gbash10 says:

    The F-7NI Airguard fighter jets is the legacy that Obj left behind for NAF.
    Where in this modern era can a brand new high performance fighter jet be sold at $15 million US dollars. 3 F-7NI and 1 FT-7NI crashed meaning that we are left with 9 F-7NI and 2 FT-7NI.
    I want to disagree on the issue of pilot err,
    point#1:first crash in kano,the F-7 caught fire while taking-off killing the pilot,
    point#2:second crash in Abuja,engine caught fire when the jet went on full throtle to take-off,
    point#3:while on training excise,the FT-7NI engine malfuction, both pilot ejected sucessfully.
    Point#:if pilot should eject sucessfull then we may suspect engine malfuction again.
    NAF should ground all these birds and procure modern high performance multirole fighter jets!

  8. xnur44 says:

    Lets be fair to Obasanjo, he had a fixed budget for new jets and asked the NAF to find a suitable aircraft since most service jets were not airworthy. He did not choose the F-7, those who did are here. Let the National Assembly committee on defence call on the Ministry of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Air Staff to account. They were the ones who made the decisions. It will shock many to know the truth.

  9. doziex says:

    @Xnur44, I don’t know, I remember that when OBJ came into power, around the time american PMCs were taking stock of NA’s capabilities and servicable assets (to the chagrin of the likes of general malu), the NAF brass did present prez. OBJ with a wish list that included the mirage 2000-5s, the mig-29Ms, the f-16 falcon and the su-27.

    It showed that the NAF brass circa 2000 were ready to leap ahead. IDK what became of that list. However, some years down the line, we heard that NAF had placed orders for the F-7NIs in exchange for a massive chinese investment in our oil sector. One such deal netted Gen. theophyllus danjuma 500 millions dollars.

    So the F-7 purchase was clearly in return for the chinese strategic investments in our oil fields. The question is that the chinese had better fighter jets that NAF could have waited for.
    The F-8II finback, the FC-1 fierce dragon, the FH-7 flying leopard and the F-10/J-10 vigorous dragon.
    And if 251 million was all OBJ could spare, Mr. beegeagle has often listed several permutations of new and used Su-27/30s NAF could have acquired for the same amount.

  10. Donspony says:

    At the rate they are crashing, we would probably have half wiped off before they see action…the Pakistani airforce has suffered 47 crashes to date out of a possible 186 aircframes in their inventory.
    Here’s a link

  11. xnur44 says:

    Doziex, You are on track, Chinese oil block was a prime mover which I want the National Assembly to unearth, the current service chiefs as mentioned were then AOCs and other commanding positions in the Air Force. Lets have a hearing! then Nigerians shall decide.

  12. gbash10 says:

    When the issue of upgrading NAF fleet of MiG-21 fighter jets came up some time in late 2004,it was reported by the TELL edition 49 of December 6,2004 and January 10,2005 that the then minister of defence,Rabiu Kwankwaso and the then chief of air staff,Air Marshall Jonah Wuyep played some questionable role by chosing the Romanian company,Aerostar S. A. against Rosoboronexport/IAI(russian and isreali) consortium.
    Aerostar S. A offered a final price, negotiated as USD$172,191,880 while Rosoboronexport offered USD$171,400,000 a difference of $791,800,but the contract was awarded to the Romanians who did not have the technical competence to do the job.
    When it came to president Obj’s notice,he immediately cancelled the contract.
    That was how the smart chinese business people came in- …and they got the contract to supply brand new 15 chendu F-7 airguard fighter jets.The F-8II Finback was reported then to be the prefered jet.
    This contract was negotiated in Aso Rock and sealed.
    For all the data on the F-7, it is not a good machine period.The Pakistani air force,PAF F-7P crashes of about 47 out of 186,that is about 25.3 per cent,and Nigerian air force,NAF F-7NI crashes of 4 out of 15,that is about 26.7 per cent,are not tolerable at all.The tolerable rate of accident for any air force in the world is said to be between 4 to 5 per cent.
    NAF should please ground this “widow-maker”(nick-name of the MiG-21 Fishbed in the barracks).Procure modern fighter jets for the NAF now,please!!!

    • jimmy says:

      As usual I am late to the party . I will try my best my best not to PARROT anybody
      This is a combination of two things please people bear me out coming from the states the last month and a half we have had 3 crashes of the FAMILY of aircraft.This is coming from u.s. land of where AIRPLANES WAS INVENTED.
      1) The more you train with an AIRCRAFT the more you subject that plane to what is known as G- forces which creates stresses on the aircraft which in turn heightens ths chances of a plane ‘s mechanical, electrical/ electronic, chemical functions to malfunction. this is ONE OF THE REASONS OF what is happening.
      2) This is a bad plane that those CHINESE who are notorious and are getting a well deserved reputation for dumping inferior products on the world just did the same to Nigeria
      3) Nigerians UNFORTUNATELY regardless of AIRFRAME because the airforce has not begun to train at a much HIGHER clip will have more AIRCRASHES and no guys there is no acceptable percentage criteria.
      4) REGARDLESS IF WE ARE TO BELIEVE OUR SOURCES that we will eventually procure better airframes there will still be crashes it comes with the territory of training
      it does not mean all accidents are due to pilot ERROR it is sometimes just the equation more training = MORE crashes
      5) Since we have a better respectful TRAINING AND RELATIONSHIP WITH REGARDS TO the RUSSIANS and Germans I WILL advocate that our NEXT SET OF AIRFRAMES SHOULD COME FROM THEIR

  13. Hussein says:

    Money in the drain! and how we sure they are donated free in exchange for oil blocks? I bet you the Chinco can do anything to close any deal!!

  14. beegeagle says:

    SELL OFF the F7 AirGuard. They are dropping from the skies because God knows that Nigeria deserves better. Why are they not dropping that way in Bangladesh, Namibia and Zimbabwe?

    I REPEAT, it was a transaction gone awry and it has to be done afresh. WHY did we spend $15m apiece on each of those fifteen jets whereas we could have more meaningfully acquired. Plus air weapons, we spent $251m.

    Fifteen units of factory-refurbished Su-27/30s are available for $180m. We need some surplus MiG 23s fighter/ground attack/bomber variants to square off the numbers, which we can grab 24 units of at the rate of $2m apiece and have them upgraded to contemporary standards for $1m apiece(total = $72m).



    This is a multirole front fighter with radically increased combat efficiency due to its capability to intercept all types of air targets, detect and destroy ships, small-size and radio emitting targets. The aircraft is fitted with:

    √ onboard automated system, dubbed
    Nucleus, that includes MVK and ILS digital computer systems, two multifunction color liquid crystal displays, two multifunction control panels, TV registering systems;

    √ multifunction radar with a 90-100km
    detection range of air targets of “fighter” type;

    √ modern guided weapons (RVV-AE,
    R-27R,T, R-27E (R,T) “air-to-air” missiles; Kh-25ML,MP, Kh-29L,T,TD, Kh-31A,P “air-
    to-surface” missiles and KAB-500L,KR air

    √ new weapon control system (borrowed from the MiG-21-93 aircraft), helmet-mounted target designator (HTD), inertial navigation system/space navigation system, system of air signals, and radio-altimeter;

    √ new ECM assets.

    Main options offered include:

    √ reduction of signature;
    √ installation of a quantum optical-radar
    (borrowed from the MiG-29 aircraft);
    √ employment of an array of pods that
    expand operational capabilities of the aircraft;
    √ in-flight refueling;
    √ increased combat survivability;
    √ additional avionics.

    All types of fighters and interceptors developed on the basis of the MiG-23 aircraft may be re-equipped for the MiG-23-98-1 aircraft.


    This is a front fighter with enhanced combat efficiency used against air targets. The fighter is fitted with:

    √ an upgraded Sapphire-23 radar and
    weapon control system that, apart from
    the standard armaments, provide for
    operation of the RVV-AE and R-73E “air-
    to-air” missiles;

    √ a new inertial system with a correction plate borrowed from the space navigation system;

    √ new ECM assets.

    Main options offered include:
    √ reduction of signature;
    √ installation of HTD;
    √ installation of pods with active ECM
    assets or reconnaissance equipment;
    √ in-flight refueling;
    √ new avionic systems.

    All modifications of the MiG-23 fighters
    outfitted with the Sapphire-23 radars
    may be re-equipped for the MiG-23-98-2


    This is a strike aircraft featuring a 130-164% increase of combat efficiency against ground and air targets. The aircraft is outfitted with:

    √ onboard automated control and pilot
    communication system (MVK digital
    computers with a correction plate
    borrowed from the space navigation
    system, a multifunction color liquid crystal display, and a multifunction control panel), which provides for communications through MKIO
    (MIL-1553V standard);

    √ control devices allowing for the use of
    the HOTAS concept;

    √ a radar illumination warning station;

    √ a new weapon control system
    (borrowed from the MiG-27M aircraft).

    In addition to the standard armament,
    new types of rockets, including S-8, S-13,
    S-25, “air-to-air” R-73E and “air-to-
    surface” Kh-29T,L and Kh-31P,A missiles and KAB-500KR,L air bombs, are introduced.

    Main options offered include:

    √ reduction of signature;

    √ installation of the HTD, modern ESM
    assets and avionics;

    √ in-flight refueling;

    √ increased combat survivability;

    √ installation of pods with an optronic
    system of round-the-clock target
    detection, use of weapons with laser
    seekers and navigation with a
    multifunction radar, with target
    designation equipment of “air-to-radar” missiles and with reconnaissance equipment. The MiG-23B-98 aircraft may be developed from the MiG-23BN aircraft.

    The MiG-23-98-1 aircraft’s combat efficiency against air and ground targets will equal that of fourth-generation fighters, and the MiG-23-98-2 will be their worthy rival in aerial combat. The combat trainers are derivatives from the baseline fighters. It should be noted here that modernization proposals are common for all versions of the MiG-23 family.

    In conclusion, it is worth noting that:
    √ all variants and options of the aircraft
    modernization are based on the
    components that are currently in series
    production or undergoing certification on other types of MiGs, and therefore can be demonstrated to potential customers. This explains the low cost of R&D work and its short periods, as well as minimal technical risk involved

  15. beegeagle says:

    Xian JH-7A

    When we opened talks for a Chinese-made jet, the multirole and long-range Xian JH-7A (FBC-1) was the ONLY jet that made sense – fighter/HEAVY bomber. That, in the absence of inflight refuelling aircraft, was the one Chinese jet which met the barest minimum requirements given the territorial expanse of the country(1,000+ miles between the most distant NE-SW extremes), a very heavy bombload, good air-to-air capability. It does not matter that the aircraft has not been deployed in air combat, some country has to be the first taker otherwise, nobody would have acquired the Su-27 or MiG 23 even before they had ever seen action in the Ethio-Eritrean War or the Israeli-Syrian Wars.

    As is, this jet would hit Gao and Kidal in Mali+Arlit in Niger from Sokoto, as far north as Agadez in Niger from Kano,all of Cameroon from Yola and Calabar, all of southern and central Chad from Yola and Maiduguri,Gabon and western Congo-Brazzaville from Calabar, Abidjan in CIV from Lagos. The addition of two 500 litre drop tanks would increase the radius of operation by an additional 500 km and extend the field of coverage.

    Still, the jet would still be able to carry twenty 250kg bombs, plus an array of missiles and rockets into battle. That, in the absence of the J11(a reverse engineered Su-27), was our best option, given the geopolitical realities of today, our territorial size and the fact that we do not own air refuelling tankers.

    General characteristics

    Crew: 2: pilot, weapons operator Payload: 9,000 kg(19,842 lb) of weapons Length: 22.32 m (73 ft 2 in)
    Wingspan: 12.8 m (41 ft 7 in)
    Height: 6.22 m (20 ft 4 in)
    Wing area: m² (ft²)

    Empty weight: 14,500 kg [12] (31,900 lb) Loaded weight: kg (lb)
    Max.takeoff weight:28,475 kg(62,720 lb) Powerplant:
    2 × Xian WS9 (a license- built Spey Mk202) afterburning turbofans

    Dry thrust: 54.29 kN (12,250 lbf) each Thrust with afterburner:
    91.26 kN (20,515 lbf) each


    Maximum speed:
    Mach 1.75 (1,808 km/h, 1,122 mph)

    Combat radius: 1,759 km (1,093 mi) Ferry range: 3,700 km (2,299 mi)
    Service ceiling: 16,000 m (51,180 ft)

    Wing loading: kg/m² (lb/ft²)


    1× 23mm twin-barrel GSh-23L
    autocannon, 300 rounds

    9 in total (6× underwing, 2× wingtip, 1× under-fuselage) with a capacity of 9,000 kg (20,000 lb) external fuel and ordnance

    57mm/90mm unguided rocket pods


    Air-to-air missiles:

    Anti-ship missiles:

    Anti-radiation missiles:

    Unguided bombs
    Laser-guided bombs

    JL-10A radar

    • jimmy says:

      i agree with everything yo have said except the country of Origin when it comes to AIRFRAMES wE HAVE GIVEN THE CHINESE a chance and our worst fears have come true MASS PRODUCTION OF INFERIOR technology has been THE CHINESE modus operandi , We should go directly to the Russians do not pass go do not collect$200 l.o.l 🙂
      procure a squadron of mig 23 and this should be followed up by the procurement of eitheran upgraded version of the alpha jet or the SU27/30
      My frustration sometimes is that it makes sense so it won’t get done
      Nigeria has had an ongoing healthy relationship with GERMANY going back to the 1960s
      Ditto Russia that goes back to the civil war of 1967-1970.
      While I am not big on the technical aspect of these AIRFRAMES I am big on the reliability so much that AMERICA has begun procuring Equipment for their IRAQI and AFGHAN armies

  16. gbash10 says:

    @Jimmy, the chinese are smart business people,they give you what you request for and can afford.
    Recall that we had the MiG-21 as our front-line fighter jet,hence our people requested for a chinese reverse-engineered,modified MiG-21(F-7NI).As at that time(2005), the chinese were manufacturing the J-11B Sino Flanker,J-8II Finback,J-10A that has been modified to J-10B and the JH-7 Flying Leopard.These are modern fighter jets with Russian,Western and Chinese avionics and power plants,which contain state-of-the-art technologies.
    They now have the J-20 Stealth fighter that looks like the US Air Force F-22A Raptor.Pentagon top brass are now shouting at the top of their voice for additional Raptors.
    Forget about the US/EU countries on what they may be saying on Russian and Chinese weaponry.most of these weapons are at par with the US/EU and Isreali designs,some may even out- class western designs;e.g Song class submarine.
    People,our new combat air frames should come from Russia and partly from China!That is where our strategic procurement plans should be focused,EAST!!!

    • beegeagle says:

      Gentlemen, I was looking through jet aircraft prices today and at the time that we purchased the F7s, the JH-7A Flying Leopard cost $15m as well, same as the unit cost of the F7, even as the Flying Leopard is a straightforward multirole jet – fighter/ground attack, heavy bomber and long-range. It is the same size as the Su-27 and has powerplants which deliver about 90% as much power. In terms of combat radius on internal fuel, it matches the Su-27, it is a Mach 1.7 jet and carries a 9 ton payload. I have compared all the Chinese options – from the perspectives of multimission capability, RANGE, payload and power and for a country which is quite stingy when it comes to procurement, that was the gift of a powerful and brand-new multirole jet. For all round utility and range, only the J11(Chinese copy of the Su-27) edges past it. Certainly and given the specific tasks at home and abroad which our Air Force is saddled with, it should not be too difficult to see why I would have chosen the JH-7A Flying Leopard over the versatile but short-ranged FC-1, the agile but dogfight-fixated J10 and the F8II Finback which loses out to the JH-7A in my books on account of range. Any jet which cannot undertake a minimum of a 1,000-mile return flight into the region CANNOT, in my books, be a candidate for a frontline FGA jet for Nigeria.

      The JH-7A boasts a payload and range that doubles that of the decent Jaguar jet and her engine is nearly thrice as powerful.

      Going forward, we need to open talks with China for a possible deal to swap jets. We give them 12 F7s and they give us 8 JH-7A (six FGA variants+2 trainers). They can refurbish and sell off the very new F7s to African and Asian customers who have had more success with the airframe. That way, we get fair recompense on the foolishly spent $251m.

      Eight free and high-utility jets to the good, we can then turn to the main event.

      * twelve factory-refurbished Su-27/30s @ $180m

      * eight units each of MiG 23-98 Mk.1, MiG 23-98 Mk.2 and MiG 23B-98 (24 units@$72m)

      Come 2013, place an order for six units of Su-30 @ $300M.

      THAT WAY, we would be good to go till 2020.

      Now with that haul of 48 jets, I would deploy as follows:

      TAC – six units of Su-30

      SOK: three Su-27s, one JH-7A, two MiG-23B-98, two MiG 23-98-2

      MDGR: three Su-27s, one JH-7A, two MiG-23B-98, two MiG 23-98-2

      PHC – one JH-7A, two MiG 23-98-1

      LAGOS two Su-27, one JH-7A, two MiG-23B-98

      CALABAR two Su-27, one JH-7A, two MiG-23B-98

      KANO: two Su-27, two MiG 23-98-2

      ENUGU: one JH-7A, two MiG 23-98-1

      BENIN: two MiG 23-98-2

      YOLA – two MiG 23-98-1

      KNJI – two MiG 23-98-1

  17. doziex says:

    You guys now see why for months on this blog, I have bitterly protested/lamented this very transaction.
    If we on this blog can come up with all manner of affordable and better aircraft purchase packages, why couldn’t anyone in our entire media, govt. and military establishment.

    From 2005 when the order was made, to 2011, when NAF finally took the delivery, 6 years transpired. 6 years of no debate, no press enquiry, no renegotiation, no protest by the NAF brass, and absolutely no awareness by the press and our legislators with all their useless defence committees.

    And please, let no one ever repeat that word “stop gap measure”. Where in the world does a stop gap measure take 6 years to implement and remains in place for the forseeable future ?

    You answered correctly, NIGERIA.

  18. gbash10 says:

    Good work for the findings and ORBAT for the NAF combat force General Beeg.
    Why is it taking the PDP government more than 14 years to modernize the Nigerian armed forces with contemporary weapon systems?

  19. Triqqah says:

    I’m a long time reader and dedicated fan of your blog Mr Beag, and it is also a reliable source of information for us military enthusiast but i reframe from making any comment. I sometimes see some suggestions here which i believe are practical while others are just wishful thinking. This new toy (f-7n) of the FG is not serving the airforce and i fold my hand and watch in amusement as they fall out of the sky like glorified tin-cans with wings. To add my own quota to the list of probable aircraft for the Nigerian airforce: the Russian airforce is presently offering 18 ex-Indian airforce SU-30 Advance stealth aircraft to any available buyer cheaply, to complement this the FG should also acquire some SU-27 Flankers and for ground attack maybe 20 units of SU-25 Frogfoot. I believe this combination would suit NAF magnificently. Thank you.

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