Chief of the Naval Staff,Vice Admiral DJ Ezeoba, flanked by officials dressed in suits,at the hangar

Chief of the Naval Staff,Vice Admiral DJ Ezeoba, flanked by officials dressed in suits,at the hangar


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. eniola says:

    Gr8 wrk by d CNS…he z really developing d navy nd he z showcasin dis achievement to d public unlik d other service chief.
    Thumbs up to him…
    With dis new hanger, I guess d navy wud b acquiring new helicopters…abi we can’t hav an hanger witout anytin in it

  2. Henry says:

    According to SIPRI, 9 UAV’s were ordered for by nigeria in the 2006-2007 period and 9 UAV’s were delivered. However, what is public knowledge is, only 3 UAV’s were ordered for.

  3. Henry says:


    Good news for the navy. We hope to see new helos for this hangar.

  4. ifiok umoeka says:

    I hope we get bigger 6.5 – 9ton types with greater endurance and better capability/payload

  5. rka says:

    Good news indeed. Have the 4 helicopters that were in the budget (can’t remember in this year or last) been delivered to the Naval Air Arm? If they have, are they the Bell Ranger type?

  6. G8T Nigeria says:

    kudos to the NN, very happy for the present leadership of the Navy and how far it has been transformed in no time. @ henry, can u post the link on that SIPRI info on NN UAV purchase?

  7. beegeagle says:

    The NN appear to have acquired a total of six Agusta A109e Power helics since 2003. That is in addition to the three units of Westland Lynx Mk.89 ASW helics of which two units remain and are believed to be undergoing upgrades at this time. Those nine helics were numbered 01-09.

    Beegeagle’s Blog posted the first-ever photo of a hitherto unknown Bell Jet Ranger following our visit to the SBS Camp in 2012. That unit was numbered “10” and was used to simulate a hot extraction on the day.

    Thereafter, we have posted a photo of two Bell Jet Ranger helics inside a hangar at Lagos. So it is certain that the NN also own a minimum of two Jet Ranger helics, possibly as many as four units of this aircraft type. I say so because their first sighting coincided with the FY 2012 order for the following naval assets

    – six units of 17 metre Manta Mk.II ASD Littoral Interceptors

    – three units of 24 metre OCEA FPB 72 Mk.II patrol craft

    – three units of 25 metre Shaldag Mk.II patrol craft

    – two 95 metre, 1800 ton stealth OPVs

    – four helicopters

    Moving on, whereas the NN have operated A109e helics from the Osubi Airstrip at Warri for well over six years now, this marks the first time that the NN Air Arm are establishing a dedicated naval air station outside Lagos since the formation of the Air Arm around 1984-85.

  8. beegeagle says:

    My measured guess is that the NN now probably own four Agusta 109e (two lost to crashes in Rivers and Bayelsa) and four Bell Jet Ranger helics. Add to that the two units of soon-to-fly-again Lynx Mk.89 helics and an associated Agusta AW 139 owned by the Maritime Guard Command, a maritime security outfit jointly staffed by NN personnel and commanded by a NN officer.

    That would be a total of eleven helics under command. However, that looks set to expand as the NN take on big ships with aviation handling capabilities. You might recall that the 10 Year Strategic Plan of the NN is geared towards the acquisition of 49 naval vessels – ranging from patrol craft to OPVs, light frigates, LPDs and submarines – and 42 helicopters.

    Again, the NN plan to open another naval air station at Calabar following on the heels of the Warri Flying Unit.

  9. jimmy says:

    I would be very happy (politics and emotional sentiment aside )to see The NN upgrade as you have said The naval BASE at CALABAR not taking anything away from Warri BUT IN ORDER TO extend both our Naval ( ships) and Air ( HELIOS) capabilities well into the reach of the gulf of GUINEA and beyond.
    IMHO one of the biggest tragedies of the MILITARY REGIMES ( and we as civilians brought this upon ourselves ) is the catch up game we are now playing at the height of the civil war naval vessels used to go back and forth between Calabar / Portharcourt/ Bonny/ and Lagos..
    Calabar AND THE CENTRAL COMMAND ( Bayelsea) have to feature prominently in the strategic command and vision of the N.N in the years to come .

  10. rka says:

    Oga Beeg, that certainly answers my question. All hands on deck for the arrival of follow-on long endurance helios with surveillance/ASW/ASuW capabilities.

  11. rka says:

    Apart from the 2 Lynx helicopters that is. Also, it would be useful to have pintle mounted machine guns for anti-piracy missions (although a few ASW missiles at them wouldn’t be misplaced, LOL).

  12. beegeagle says:

    Talking about missiles and rocketry, has anyone heard of this hypersonic Chinese-made missile which they carry on JF17 Thunder jets – a Mach 4+ ballistic nightmare 🙂

    READ if you will


    Pakistan has fielded a new very-high-speed long-range air-launched missile that senior officers in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) have described as “an aircraft carrier killer”.

    The CM-400AKG is a Mach 4 plus-capable air-to-surface weapon developed in China and now in service with JF-17 aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force.

    The weapon,designated CM-400AKG, was designed and developed in China by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) and was revealed at Airshow China 2012, held in Zhuhai from
    13-19 November. The CM-400AKG is now part of the operational weapon set of the PAF’s JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter.

    “This is a mature weapon that has been fully tested. It is not conceptual. It is in service,” Air Commodore Mahmood Khalid, PAF JF-17 Deputy Project Director
    stated. “The CM-400AKG is a very high-speed missile that is very difficult to intercept. It hits the target at Mach 4 or above and its kinetic impact alone is enough to destroy any high-value target, like an aircraft carrier.”

    The CM-400AKG first appeared,briefly, in public at last year’s Dubai Airshow, when a placard for the weapon was placed alongside a PAF JF-17 – and then removed. The weapon itself was not shown. At the time PAF personnel acknowledged it was a new Chinese-built air-to-surface stand-off missile. However, the initial assumption that it was a derivative of the C-802 anti-ship missile has proved to be very wide of the mark.

    The CM-400AKG is a 400 kg solid-rocket-powered weapon that can be fitted with either a penetrator or blast/fragmentation warhead. It is a fire-and-forget precision-guided weapon that can be fitted with several seeker options, which are understood to include an active radar seeker and an imaging infrared seeker with target-recognition (TR) capabilities.

    PAF sources say the missile can be pre-programmed with digital imagery for highly precise attacks against fixed sites in TR mode, but it can also be retargeted in flight by using the radar seeker option. The range of the CM-400AKG is understood to be in the 180-250 km class.

    It is designed for use against fixed or what were described as “slow moving” targets. CASIC data indicates that after launch the CM-400AKG climbs to high altitude and terminates with a high-speed dive on the target. The PAF describes the missile’s impact velocity as “hypersonic”. Both CASIC and the PAF note that the CM-400AKG has been developed as a JF-17 weapon.

  13. rka says:

    That would be ideal should the NAF go for the JF-17. I can’t see China withholding the CM-400AKG from the NAF. It would be awesome and an incredible deterrent.

  14. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga, I have a response on the other post

  15. beegeagle says:

    Triggah, check your email?

    • beegeagle says:

      The Naval Chief was quoted by “ThisDay” last Saturday as haven said that

      * The hull of one P18N stealth OPV which is meant to be 50-70% completed in Nigeria shall be brought into Nigeria come Jan 2014

      * the second P18N OPV shall arrive as a fully completed ship in April 2014

  16. @ Oga Beeg

    US Army Plans To Scrap Kiowa Helo Fleet

    WASHINGTON — US Army leaders are considering scrapping its entire fleet of Bell Helicopter OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters, while pulling the National Guard’s Boeing AH-64 Apaches into the active-duty force to fill the scout helicopter role as the Army seeks to fulfill its longer-term requirement of a newly developed armed aerial scout, according to several Army and defense industry sources.

    The plan also calls for giving active Black Hawk helicopters to the Guard, while taking half of the Guard’s Lakota fleet, using them as active-duty trainers and scrapping its Jet Rangers.

    While a final decision has yet to be made, the industry sources had the impression that the deal was all but done.

    The deal would be done in the interest of cutting costs and reducing the number of different helicopter types in the Army, but questions remain about the affordability of using the Apache to fill the scout role. Army leadership had already rejected the idea in the early 1990s in favor of the now-canceled Comanche, and expressed doubts about it in a 2011 analysis of alternatives (AoA) document.

    The December 2011 AoA for the Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) program — which until last year was envisioned as the eventual replacement for the Kiowa — concluded that fielding the AH-64D Block III to the service’s armed reconnaissance squadrons to replace the Kiowa would be “at least 50 percent more expensive than the currently programmed [recon squadrons].”

    The Army also concluded that the AH-64 requires “significantly more maintenance personnel than the other mixes analyzed.”

    What’s more, a study conducted by the Logistics Management Institute recently estimated that in recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, if the Army used an Apache in the Kiowa scout role, it would have cost an additional $4 billion in fuel, maintenance and operating costs.

    Still, “the Army is in a difficult position,” one defense industry source said. The Armed Aerial Scout AoA “said that the most affordable and capable option was Kiowa linked with the Shadow UAV. But the AoA also said that the most capable immediate solution is an Apache, so there’s two sides of this argument. So the Army really is making decisions around cost.”

    “This is a budget-driven plan,” said Col. Frank Tate, the Army’s chief of aviation force development. “We are in a fiscally constrained environment, which requires us to make hard choices, but we need to also make smart choices. In developing this plan, everything was on the table.”

    Tate added that “if we go with the overall plan, it would save approximately $1 billion a year in direct operating and sustainment cost. However, that does not take into account the savings in the out-years by divesting the OH-58Ds, OH-58A/Cs and TH-67s [trainers] from the Army aviation fleet.”

    Once the Army divests itself of its 338 active-duty and 30 National Guard Kiowas and pulls Apaches from the National Guard, the service will then provide the Guard with Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in order to give the Guard more capability as it conducts its homeland defense and disaster response missions.

    The Army has 570 Apaches, while the Guard has 192 and the Army Reserve has 48, according to information provided by the service.

    The goal is to have a total of 690 AH-64E Apaches in the Army, officials said, while the Guard and reserve will have no Apaches of any model.

    The Guard is also expected to gain 111 Black Hawks from the active duty, while the reserve will receive 48, and the end-state calls for 1,033 Black Hawk helicopters in the active Army, 960 in the Guard and 142 in the reserve.

    But the plan isn’t sitting so well with everyone in the Guard.

    Col. Tim Marsano, spokesman for the Idaho National Guard, wrote in an email that “losing the Apaches would entail a significant loss of manning, combat capability and a long tradition of combat aviation in the Idaho Army National Guard. We would like to keep this mission.”

    Part of the plan also entails retiring the active-duty Bell TH-67 Jet Ranger training helicopters being used at Fort Rucker, Ala., and moving about 100 EADS UH-72 Lakotas from the active Army and 104 of the Guard’s 212 Lakotas to Alabama for this purpose.

    The proposed plan gives the Army some flexibility in determining what it can cut and how it can maintain critical aviation capability, Tate said.

    The plan “streamlines the fleet by divesting older model airframes,” he added. This will “result in substantial savings over time. Our other option is to just eliminate force structure, which would require us to divest some of our aircraft that we want to keep and result in reduced capability.”
    Decades of Trying

    The Army has been trying to build a new light reconnaissance helicopter since 1982, when it kicked off the Light Helicopter Experimental program to replace the Vietnam-era Kiowa.

    Eventually christened the Comanche in the early 1990s, the program never really found its footing in the halls of the Pentagon, leading then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to finally kill it off in 2004 after it had burned through about $7 billion worth of investments.

    Over the past several years it began to look hopeful that after 30 years of trying, the Army would be able to finally upgrade its aerial scout fleet. In 2010, the defense industry jumped at the chance to build a new bird, and AgustaWestland, Boeing, EADS and Bell Helicopter began readying designs for the new armed aerial scout.

    During the spring and summer of 2012, the Army conducted a series of what it called “fly-offs,” where Army leaders visited all of the competitors interested in bidding on the work to check in on their progress and their designs.

    Nothing much came from the meetings, and by May 2012, Lt. Gen. William Phillips, the top acquisition adviser to the Army secretary, claimed that the results of the industry visits were a disappointment.

    “We didn’t find a single aircraft that was out there that could meet the Army’s requirements, so if we were to go forward with an armed aerial scout it would essentially be a development program,” he said.

    Asked if the Army has communicated to industry its plans for future development of the AAS requirement, one industry source said that “to my knowledge, we’re nowhere close to that. Sequester hit and the budget drills hit, and there’s been no communication outside of the Army on what their plans for an armed aerial scout may be.”

    After releasing its original request for information in 2010, the Army said it was looking at an average procurement unit cost of $13 million to $15 million for a new armed aerial scout. But developing a new helicopter with a fielding target of 2022 would cost about $12 million, contingent on requirements.

    That investment spread out over several years “would at least get you to the point where you have actionable data” about what capabilities are viable, one industry source said.

    “To move to the Apache in the absence of that information takes options away from the Army that they would ordinarily have,” the source added.

    There remains the question of what the Army will do with the more than 300 Kiowa aircraft that it is divesting.

    A priority will be put on any needs that the other services may have first, said Col. Jong Lee, of the service’s acquisition, logistics, and technology directorate, followed by the Civil Air Patrol, law enforcement, and then foreign military sales.

    Although the Kiowa program kicked off in 1969, the Kiowa Warriors being used today were built from 1985 onward. The entire fleet has been completely reset and remachined over the past decade, with the upgrade program ending in 2011.

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