A NAF Alpha Jet prepares for AFISMA air recce/border patrol in Niamey, Niger

A NAF Alpha Jet prepares for AFISMA air recce/border patrol operations in Niamey, Niger


It has been disclosed that the Federal Government has concluded plans to establish an Air Force Base at Bebi Airstrip in Obanliku, Cross River State.The airstrip was established to serve
travellers by air to the northern parts of
the state, and the Obudu Ranch Resort in

The plan to establish an Air Force Base
there followed its certification as one of
the safest air stations in Nigeria by the
Nigeria Airspace Management Agency
(NAMA). Managing Director of NAMA, Nnamdi Udo, who made the disclosure in Calabar while on a courtesy to the Governor, Liyel Imoke, said the plans for the Air Force base stems from the importance and strategic location of Bebi to the state and the country.

Udo said the airstrip is safe for flight,
hence the people should use it,especially
those that intend to visit the Obudu
Ranch Resort. Udo said the Cross River State Government has worked hard and put everything in place to ensure that the aviation authorities certified the airstrip.

He told Imoke to further use his position
to attract airlines to Bebi Airstrip, so that the strip would effectively serve those travelling to the resort.Imoke said NAMA deserved commendation for making the nation’s airspace safer than before, saying the agency has done much to ensure that travelling by air improved tremendously.

Imoke said, “if we do not have an
effective NAMA, we do not have effective air management system because it affects investments, it affects tourism, and it affects the overall airspace and business.”

About beegeagle

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

    This is good news. Just 2 days ago while replying to Oga freegulf’s remarks about the importance and vulnerability of the Calabar port. I suggested the upgrade of the NAF FOB at Calabar to a full detachment. Now , with an air base at Obanliku (let’s pretend it’s far from Bakassi) and the FOB at Calabar, that south-eastern flank is corvered (don’t forget NAF air base at Enugu would still be there for support). We now need superior air fames to put an icing on the cake! Kudos NAF!

    • camouflage1984 says:

      I too i was suprised at the development anyway it is good but it will be better if all these expansions are complemented by hardware!

      • camouflage1984 says:

        Hope Biya would not misconstrue

      • Obix says:

        Oga Camo, if he likes he can misconstrue as much as he likes. We should go the Russian way, arm up and flex muscles within our territories and near the borders. Invite the neghbours’ top millitary brass as observers during serious millitary games, it’s like telling them with a big smile that we are not hiding anything. But they will go home and scratch thier heads. IBB did it in his days when it was reported that the apartheid S. African government were constructing a millitary base in E. Guinea. Thier president was invited over for talks and in the process he witnessed one of the most heart cracking displays by the NAF.
        The russian border guards SF unit has the motto : “We don’t want a meter of your territory, but we will never give up a centimetre of our’s! “

  2. freeegulf says:

    its indeed good news generals, like oga camo said, it should be complemented with the appropriate hardware.
    with a maritime strike wing fully operational (calabar), a detachment from the strike wing can be based at the airstrip. CAP and interdiction missions will be well taken care of with this new development. added to the fact that NAF can guarantee air superiority and maritime support to the navy.

  3. beegeagle says:

    Yeah, NAF are growing and the equipment is SURE to manifest very soon.

    In 2011, the Air Mobility Command with HQ at Yenagoa was created while the FOBs at Sokoto and Minna were revived. In 2012, 61 NAF Detachment was created at Warri. Now, this.

    One more thing. I noticed that when the Pakistani Air Chief and his delegation visited in May, they passed through the 207 Special Mobility Group at Calabar. That is likely to be the homeport of the incoming Mi-171Sh Terminator assault helics. Pakistan also operate the aircraft type, so there might be cooperation at some level on the Terminator – just like exists with the F-7 AirGuard.

  4. beegeagle says:

    What is old Biya miscontruing? :), Camouflage1984? Calabar is closer to the Cameroonian frontier than Bebi is.

    There is already a civil airstrip at Bebi which serves the increasingly popular Obudu Mountain Resort. At some level, the NAF which has just taken delivery of a Boeing 737-500 (NAF 916) for troop tranpsort and commercial ops, and is set to receive a Boeing 737-400 in August 2013, could additionally operate commercial and charter flights to Bebi.

    An increasing number of federal ministries, departments and parastatals operating out of Lagos and Abuja have been flocking to Obudu for RETREATS and the most lucrative mountain race event on earth – the Obudu Mountain Race – takes place at Obudu every year. All of that brings significant traffic to Bebi.

    Minus military operations, chartered flights by Dornier Do-228s from Warri and PHC into Bebi could become a core area of interest for NAF while commercial flights from Lagos and Abuja using Boeing planes could suffice as well.

    Watch this space as always. You know how the comeback usually goes..ELSEWHERE, BEEGEAGLE WROTE 🙂

  5. beegeagle says:



  6. freeegulf says:

    that air mobility group in calabar used to be the maritime strike group, with the Aermacchi MB-339 stationed there. they could still activate at least, a strike wing there, to protect our eastern seaboard.

    following any multi-role jets procurement, this strike wing should be made operational. helos can remain in portharcourt to monitor security in the creeks.
    except for low intensity combat (which at the moment is not happening there) and skirmishes with camerounian gendarmes/insurgents, there is really no need keeping a gunship squadron or detachment in calabar. but a fully operational strike wing is a necessity for CAP, interdictions, reconnaissance and maritime support.

    • beegeagle says:

      You are correct, Generalissimo Freeegulf. The MB 339s used to be stationed at Calabar in the 1980s and 1990s.

      Perhaps that was why Cameroon later reached out for Impala Mk.IIs, a derivative of the MB 326.

      In the 1970s, the MB 326s held so many world records and they played great roles for the SAAF during the COIN operations mounted against African nationalist guerrillas in the neighbouring republics of Southern Africa.

  7. jimmy says:

    LOOKS GOOD.OGA FREEGULF OGA OBIX. Since the biggest topic right now is Gej’s unprecedented five day state visit.I am going to refrain saying too much about this topic except to say una don talk well.

  8. Tope says:

    There is something i am positive about…..once da FOB’s and Airbases are completed Beeg will be posting brand new jet pictures i dnt tink an Airforce will just build structures without having da Airframes for them

  9. beegeagle says:

    @Gens Freeegulf+Obix.

    Around 2005, Alenia of Italy announced two contracts from Nigeria.

    One had to do with an upgrade of the five G222s to the C27J standard in a $69m deal which included the gift of one G222(as per, FREE) and the construction of a hangar at Ilorin

    The other was a US$84m contract for the upgrade of the long-term stored MB 339As to the contemporary MB 339CD variant.

    Details on execution have been scanty but here is what we have


    – On February 16th 2009, Jane’s Defence wrote as follows

    “Aermacchi MB-339CD Mid- Life Upgrade (MLU) (Italy), Aircraft -Fixed-wing – Military … The Nigerian AF is upgrading 12 of its long-term stored MB-339As to MB-339CD standard”

    After over 15 years in storage, the MB 339s participated in an aerial display on the opening day of the Air Expo 2012

    ALENIA G222

    The one-of-a-kind Alenia G222 TCM(NAF 955) is the used unit which was acquired. Nobody trumpeted its delivery
    to the NAF either while the Ilorin hangar has been quietly completed

    So we really could deploy four units of MB 339CDs to Calabar. Though subsonic, they pack a punch with a good array of munitions and boast greater range than the F-7s and Alpha Jet.

    • jimmy says:

      I WENT and goggled NAF955 it shows pictures as recently as 2011 of the said NAF955 taxing at Muritala. This is interesting.pray tell me does anyone know was this the same G222 that was used for Mali?

  10. jimmy says:

    i went back and researched beegeagle the G222 that was used to transport troops to NIAMEY WAS NAF952 which leads to my question was NAF 955 ACTIVE IN mali any pics any body?

  11. freeegulf says:

    well said marshal beegs. indeed the MB339s packs a big punch and even more impressive than our other trainer jets. while the L-39s where procured for advance training, and the A-jets for weapons school, the aermacchi was acquired with laid down secondary strike role in mind. it was why they where deployed at our eastern flank for air and maritime role.

    the A-jets had the opportunity during the ECOMOG years because of the local german firm in kaduna that kept them in decent conditions. and, the elite instructors at kainji (where the A-jets are stationed) also flew interdiction missions in Liberia. the aermacchi on the other hand, was mothballed due to scarcity of foreign currencies, and later, sanctions.

    with sturdy and efficient wings, the MB339s can be back to armed patrol with A2A and AShM. this should, however, be an intermediate solution until NAF procure a multi-role aircraft. calabar air base definitely needs an air strike wing, simple!!
    viva NAF!!!

  12. beegeagle says:

    Well done, Generalissimo. You know the drill. With a regime of sanctions and arms embargoes slammed against the military for most of the 1990-2000 span of ECOMOG operations, it was always clear that DORNIER-AIEP at Kaduna helped in no small way to keep the A-Jets aloft and fighting through thousands of sorties.

    Did you ever get to read the world exclusive insights into ECOMOG air operations and the heroics of A-Jet pilots?


    ECOMOG AIR OPERATIONS (II): “Operation Libery” and “Operation Sandstorm”

  13. freeegulf says:

    the exploits of these brave pilots with the A-Jets (Trainer version, not the Luftwaffe attack version that was configured for CAS) in LBR and SRL saved the ground troops over and over. sincerely, i don’t think ECOMOG ground troops would have been half as successful without the significant presence of NAF. with some few mi-24s in NAF arsenal, the bad months of oct, nov, dec ’98, and jan-feb ’99 would have been avoided. RIP to the fallen heroes.

    to think that this was the same NAF that IBB nearly disbanded, and abacha criminally neglected, goes to show how sad leadership, patriotism, cronyism, narrow mindedness, militricians, smooth-balled into bad cocktail and kept this country stagnant.

  14. freeegulf says:

    my marshal, our oga at the top, well done

  15. beegeagle says:

    Gentlemen, the L15 Falcon page on WIKI (not the most reliable source but it is hotlinked to a Chinese website for proof) has updates and the gist is that “six L15 Falcon were delivered to an unknown customer” on June 29th 2013.

    In addition to the Moscow Defense Brief’s report which suggested that Nigeria have placed an order for these jets, the said page has also now added fresh info to the effect that Zambia, a major African user of Chinese-made hardware, have also placed an order for six L15 Falcon jets.

    Zambia took delivery of more Z-9 helicopters and K8 jets last year

    • Obix says:

      Oga Beag! I’ve been following this news in every possible place from the Russian angle. Here’s a link to a page with information regarding the story. It’s in Russian but the pictures speak for themselves. I’ll translate the most important information there. I quote ”
      1-LiveJournal reports that the Chinese Internet resource CDJBY showed the first pictures of the serial combat training aircraft JL-10 (Tszyaolyan-10) – it is considered that it is the name given to the version trainer aircraft Hongdu L-15 for the Air Force People liberation Army of China.
      As can be seen in contrast to the well-known L-15 prototypes, this machine has the serial number “10001” and the identification mark of the PLA in the rear fuselage.”
      2-At the last Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, CEO of CATIC (China Aviation export-import corporation) Ma Chzhinpin announced the signing at the end of the last year of the contract for the supply of six L-15 in the unnamed African country. And here the other day there were just supposed footage from the unveilingof the produced L-15 for this African customer.
      3-As for guessing about who the clientis, the basic assumptions are being built around Zambia, and in early 2013 the plant of the Hongdu Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) in Nanchang was visited by a delegation of the Ministry of Defence of the said the African country (Zambia). But this is just a guess (Nigeria was named as another possible first foreign customer of the L-15″
      Caption under the picture with the delegates reads “The delegation of the Ministry of Defence of Zambia in the aviation enterprise groups of China Hongdu Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG). In the background can be seen one of the prototypes of the aircraft L-15. Nanchang, 10.01.2013” .
      As we can see, nothing is clear yet. But other sites mentioned that the delivery is slated for the 29th of june. There’s no proof it’s been delivered already to the unnamed customer. Some sites are saying that this version comes with Ukrainian engines, while the ones supposedly ordered by Nigeria is to be fitted with Russian engines. It’s like facts and numbers are pointing towards Zambia. I’ll keep folowing events from here!

  16. Obix says:

    A little correction- “Ma Chzhinpin announced the signing at the end of the last year of the contract for the supply of six L-15 TO the unnamed African country. “

  17. beegeagle says:

    Colonel General Obix on the Caucasus! Nice research, buddy. Keep it coming.

    Also remember the August 2011 signing of a MoU on defence between Nigeria and Ukraine. Prof Viola Onwuliri, Minister of State 1 for Foreign Affairs signed for Nigeria. Do keep an eye on updates from that end as well. You are our eyes and ears in the CIS, particularly Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, nations which we conduct military business with.

    Many, many thanks.

    Gentlemen, I offer you a lovely view of the Tunguska (NATO Reporting Name: SA 19 GRISO)

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