OPTIMISING THE USE OF THE NIGERIAN AIR FORCE’S AGUSTA A109 LUH HELICOPTERS : A MALAYSIAN ARMY OPTION CONFIGURED FOR COMBAT OPERATIONS

PHOTO CREDIT: MALAYSIA FLYING HERALD

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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73 Responses to OPTIMISING THE USE OF THE NIGERIAN AIR FORCE’S AGUSTA A109 LUH HELICOPTERS : A MALAYSIAN ARMY OPTION CONFIGURED FOR COMBAT OPERATIONS

  1. beegeagle says:

    Four years after they began to be inducted into NAF service, I have to say with an utmost feeling of dismay, that I have yet to see ONE Agusta A109 LUH of the NAF armed with a token 7.62mm minigun. Not even at the Air Expo 2010 and 2012 editions. It is quite appalling to note that the LUH variant is the dedicated military variant of the Agusta A109!

    Given all setbacks and spoilers on the road to meaningful acquisition, it takes no soothsayer to see that the NAF are greatly under-utilising what, at a time like this, should be serving as combat utility helicopters and force multiplier options for our gallant troops doing battle in the Northeast.

    Indeed, configured like the option pictured above, the combat options for COIN operations in the Northeast would be greatly boosted. You can therefore imagine the great sense of alarm which I felt on seeing a bare-boned A109LUH on DSTV Channel 199 as it hovered above the revellers during the just-concluded Calabar Carnival.

    Well, what was that gaffe all about…idling away at a revellers’ conclave while counterinsurgency operatives cry for airframes with which to chase down and destroy murderous insurgents before they escape to their Chadian and Cameroonian hideouts? This has to be a bad joke….really.

    Why not contact the police to provide situational awareness with observation helics such as unarmed Bell types and leave the NAF to use the A109 LUHs in support of combat operations where it matters?

    Na wa o😦

  2. jimmy says:

    I HAVE SAID THIS REPEATEDLY ” If the head of the fish is rotten why then would you inquire as to the stink / stench emanating from the body. Once it was announced with no denial that the Presidency was in the market for another plane @ 20m ( state of the art) they never seem to go for the bare bones model i wonder why.
    That would of been a perfect time to state now is the time to hire the same company that has a base in Abuja from Singapore to hire them to not only wire the guns to the electronic system but to transfer this knowledge to our AIRMEN , But no this did not happen.
    i often wonder how long this level of descent will continue and to what depths. Nigeria at one time was known for its pilots now we are making all kinds of excuses as to why we cant buy the planes, they are too expensive, we do not have the money to buy our own security, but we can dash other yeye countries wey be say a few years from now them go dey yanga to us pshaw ! mschew.
    i am going to against the grain and disagree with everybody except doziex and who would of guessed it IGBI. ” if you pay peanuts EXPECT MONKEYS”
    We are now led to believe by one of the most incompetent chief of airstaff to ever disgrace the uniform we do not have any threats that’s why the ragged- ass- most- useless plane called the f-7 is all we need. UGANDA WEY BE SAY THEM NO get MONEY PASS LAGOS AND BAYELSEA FIT BUY su30 we still dey walka dey talk abeg make una buy weitIn j-17 .? L-15 ?
    One day this oloriburku a satanni omo ( translations request denied it is a very bad Yoruba word). Will meet his comeuppance for dragging the air force to such a dismal level.
    Last two lines were SELF CENSORED and removed by me let me go now as i am getting volcanic, man go see una tomorrow morning.

  3. beegeagle says:

    The NAF supposedly own a squadron of twelve units of the A109 LUHs. The NAF also operate a few A109e Power types from the helicopter pilot training facility at Enugu.

    Imagine what eight Agusta A109 LUHs, combat-kitted as seen above, added to six Hind attack helics and four A-Jet, for a total of sixteen combat airframes would do for the 79 Composite Group NAF?

    Our NAF need to be seen to be fully utilising handy assets so that a better case for further procurement can be made. Nobody knows if the FG are quietly consulting someone for headsup and they are saying to them “owned assets not being fully utilised”

  4. rka says:

    I have said it on several occasions, the powers that be are not interested or not in a hurry to procure or fully convert what we have into COIN assets.

    One would have thought that the 109 LUHs would have at least several different calibre pintle mounted machine guns.

    If nothing is done while this insurgency continues, then there is nothing to suggest any major procurement will ever be made in relation to air assets. Hope I am wrong, but it appears it is in-house development all the way. Thre is nothing wrong with this, just that it ought to be combined with major procurement initiatives that happen in other more serious minded countries.

    Surprise us NAF.

  5. beegeagle says:
    NAF 575 - a military-variant Agusta A109LUH

    NAF 575 – a military-variant Agusta A109LUH

    Just take a look at one of our A109 LUHs…looking more like a transport helicopter or an air taxi than a combat helicopter..even at a time of war? One would have thought that the specific reason why Nigeria settled for a dedicated military variant is to make it count maximally when exigencies arise. It is not yet crunch time as things stand?

    Sometime in Q4 2011, we heard that the NAF had moved a pair of A109 LUH to Maiduguri. Ever since, all battle reports emanating from that theatre have only mentioned A-Jet, Mi-24V and Mi-35P attack helicopters.

    Against the backdrop of a relative paucity of air combat assets and in particular, assets optimised for hot pursuit after terrorist attacks, one would have thought that the natural choice for a light panoply, in the absence of armed scout helicopters, would be the A109 LUH.

  6. beegeagle says:

    ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A COMBAT-READY A109

  7. rka says:

    Oga Beeg, I doubt the A109s that were supposedly in Maiduguri in 2011 were still in theatre at the time of the BH attack on the air base, otherwise they would have been destroyed as well.

    If nobody has the sense to deploy them in a COIN role, they might as well use them for recce purposes instead of hovering over a civilian event, which is the responsibility of the Police as already stated.

    Sometimes, I really find it hard to understand the train of thought of our military top brass.

  8. beegeagle says:

    I mean, Airforces are optimising Mi-17 and Puma/Super Puma transport helicopters for COMBAT, never mind a military variant utility helicopter.

    SEE

    PUMA HELICOPTERS THAT FIGHT – no horsing around.

    IAR-330 Puma SOCAT

    • Nexter THL-20 20mm chain gun (chin
    mounted) with 750 rounds

    • LPR 57 unguided rocket launcher (inner2 hardpoints)

    • 8 RAFAEL Spike-ER anti-tank guided
    missiles (outer 2 hardpoints)

    • Nexter NC-621 20mm gun pod with 180 rounds (outer 2 hardpoints, used
    only on trials)

    Mi-17

    Here is what should be a Mi-17
    transport helic steeled up to no end and
    in effect, transformed to an assault helic. 33 troops embarked and six rocket pods containing many, many dozens of rockets. What manner of stampede would this trigger off in the skies over an insurgents’ base?

    Look at India’s latest uptake on Mi-17V5 multipurpose transport helicopters for the ARMY – fully multimission compliant with missiles, rocket pods and ATGMs !

    Abeg o, we really need to wake up and smell the coffee. There has to be a projected date of completion for COIN operations since we cannot do battle against insurgents ad infinitum. We need to think outside the box.

  9. beegeagle says:

    We can even talk about Mi-17/Mi-24V/Mi-35P/Mi-171Sh Terminator transport/attack/assault helicopters!

    During the wars of liberation in southern Africa, the Rhodesians used improvised Alouette and Bell helicopters as the flagship rotary wing combat assets while the South Africans used Aloutte and Puma helics!

    How much more motivation do we need before we begin to see the ‘combat value’ in every airframe and to develop a killer blow mentality necessary for these turbulent times which we are living through as Nigerians?

  10. Yagazie says:

    Oga Beegz, in my opinion (and I defer to those better vesrsed in airforce matters than myself), the problem is that we have a CAS who is incompetent and does not have a clue as to how to reposition the airforce. Look at what was achieved during the tenure of the last three CASs (ACM Paul Dike, ACM Oluseyin Petirin and AM Umar) and compare with what is happening under the tenure of the present CAS – AM Badeh. Okay maybe the former CASs were from a different era, so lets compare the ‘achievements ‘ (if any) of the present CAS with those of his equivalent service chiefs ie. CNS and COAS. The achievements of the current CNS and COAS speak for themselves. The NA and NN are being revitalised and expanded with a limited budget. For the first time since the Nigerian Civil War, an aiforce base has been attacked and for the first time in our country’s history, an airfroce base has been attacked by landbased insurgents and airframes destroyed. The CAS should bury his head in shame and if he had any dignity, should have offered his resignation after this disgraceful security lapse/breach . He has been overpromoted and should be eased out of service. A more competent officer should be appointed based solely on merit and not based on geographical /sectional/ethinic considerations.

  11. rka says:

    The problem may lie with the present CAS having a transport aircraft backgound (I think) and not that of a fighter/attack helicopter pilot

    Different strategic/tactical nous needed.

    • Are James says:

      We really don’t want to use this forum to get personal on the CAS, but Nigeria deserves a big bang for all the bucks.
      This guy’s vision for the air force is that of a VIP transport service for officials of government and it is unfortunate in the light of contemporary development s in the NE and gulf of guinea. Granted that the A109 is a little light around amoured but the avionics suite, weapon delivery and maneuverability beats the MI series helicopters and should have been deployed for action onmany theatres.

  12. ifiok umoeka says:

    Sorry brothers, I don’t envy any pilot who would have 2 go into combat in those soft skins ( remember our land cruisers in fierce camo). 2 ever think of putting those kittens in theatre, we must add a viable EO sensor suite with laser guided rockets (quite a no of cheap upgrade kits are available)! Remember those who use them as scouts have them paired with heavy hitters (apache and co), have serious STAR assets and arm them (scouts) with hellfire and co.
    Thus, if those kittens don’t have standoff hitting punch, then we rather let them continue @ the calabar carnival! Those who can’t take blows don’t throw blows!

    • rka says:

      There isn’t anything particularly wrong with having softer skinned helicopters like the A109 LUH carrying out missions against BH mounted with gatling guns for example, like the US Marine Corp uses in its Bell Hueys (google it and see) alongside its Super Cobras.

      They can cause considerable damage from a good distance (not all BH encounters involve AA fire) and can give the multiplier effect paired with Mi-24/35s which can do the greater damage.

      In an ideal world we would have ISTAR assets and Link 16 databases for better communication with other assets and ground forces as well as night attack helicopters with the necessary FLIR and LANTIRN systems and so on.

  13. Are James says:

    On a more positive note, Wikipedia’s latest updates currently credits the NAF F7NI fighter jet with some 4th generation capability and limited BVR potentials with the PL9 missile system. I suspect Nigeria bought or upgraded to at least the Bangladeshi F7bgi. Were they bought as such or were they upgraded last year?. We just don’t know.

    • rka says:

      I would agree with the F-7ni radar fit (not the British Radar as prviously mooted) and PL9 missile system, but one has to take entries in wiki with a pinch of salt.

      Afetrall, it states that we have lost a A109 LUH in a crash and I certainly haven’t heard of that report.

      Nobody is making personal attacks on the CAS, just trying to rationalize the thinking of the top brass and lack of movement with COIN assets.

      • jimmy says:

        Oga rka much respect for your comments. I believe the. Augusta wiki is refering to is the one that crashed carrying the former NSA. Azazi and the gov of Kaduna. T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

  14. ifiok umoeka says:

    When and if we upgrade the LUHs, we then need 2 develop proper tactics on how 2 deploy them, remember, one well place hit (even with a rifle) and it comes down.
    That doesn’t take anything from it agility. With the hind, u can be 4given (in the absence of a manpad and those 23mm type heavy punch!) but this kitten’s prowess should be in long reach and agility).

  15. Are James says:

    For an opponent like BH, almost every engagement distance from the air is ‘stand off’. Even though they have displayed some capability to hit at choppers in the heat of battle, what we’ve seen is nothing to worry about considering the A109s agility and night time fighting capability… it’s really a no-brainer that we should be using these machines. Then you have 3 internal machine gun posts, capability for TOW and even Hellfire missiles. How about even using them as SF airborne communication, command and control centres in the on going efforts to engage BH deep in the Alasa and Mambisa forests. The Ernest desire is to have for the NAF the kind of resourceful leadership and technical vision that sees all these possibilities.

  16. peccavi says:

    I would prefer the A109s attached to an infantry brigade, with 10 as transport/ medevac and 2 armed. with rockets and machine guns. the transports can have machine guns only.
    Either use them to move small numbers of troops around the battlefield or as dedicated infantry close support platforms

  17. jimmy says:

    i have tried to shy away from being personal on ANY OF THE SERVICE CHIEFS and being FROM AN engineering background it starts to get personal when we continue to see incompetency rearing it’s head constantly. His physical appearance be dammned, i could a rats a– if he looked like a whale if he had the brains to point out what is going on i would care less what his background is. His problem is not his background, not whether he is from the SAME VILLAGE as GEJ, his problem is one of a lack of guts, and a lack of vision to outline what the naf needs to do .
    By this point in time even if you have lived inside a cave for the last three years you can clearly see there are things happening in the NA and the NN . this is not the case with the NAF under his leadership despite being close to the president ( WTF has that done to benefit the airforce). He is the only CHIEF TO GO ON RECORD SAYING ALL IS WELL.
    Well my friend all is not well . We have a raging insurgency in the NE where until recently the naf was always late to the party or showed up on african time till one of their basses got attacked. All is not well when we are continuously saddled with an airframe that is best known FOR ONE THING AND ONE THING ONLY CRASHING. A LL IS NOT WELL WHEN THE TWO OTHER SERVICE CHIEFS HAVE REPEATEDLY talked on procurement and infrastructure funds. This is the odd one out if the chief cannot put his neck on the line for the branch he represents maybe he should take of his uniform and put on an agbada and join the party since he is already working so hard for his second job.
    And no we do not procure or buy airframes because so and so is buying them but because we need them so as a deterrence to other nations who are our friends today however who maybe our enemies tomorrow.
    Lastly Angola is a very good friend of Nigeria HOWEVER THAT IS ALSO BECAUSE NONE OF OUR interests have conflicted or collided head on as in THE CONGO. .What happens when that day happens and they hypothetically quickly seize EQUATORIAL GUINEA with one ak -47 and one tank ? will the chief say all is well or we have F-7, NAH I GOT A BETTER IDEA strap his f-t a– into one of them and send him on his way.
    This year let us not make any excuses for this chief , we hollered till we wEre hoarse we got an army division in the ne and one in the south SOUTH .We have confirmed pictures of the CNS visiting china, visiting the naval dockyard for the second boat being built we have confirmed reports that those apc are finally arriving, in the air force, we have….. .
    What good has it been when we are still waiting on 9 helios when we need transport helios?. In LIBERIA and Sierra Leone Nigerian pilots even by their most vocal critics were known by their BRAVERY AND SHEER TENACITY and trust me they were never late to the party.
    This I guess is the era we have to start talking about this it is a new year maybe we just need a new chief and i dont care whether he rowed in the same canoe to school with GEJ i just want someone who is competent and who knows we need to procure attack helios, transport helios, and a dual fighter bomber, three things is that too much to ask?MAYBE HE CAN ASK FOR A DOWN PAYMENT OF $20 MILLION DOLLARS.

    • giles says:

      wetin jonathan do,dat d military is not equiped is not his fault alone,y cann’t d nation assembly force it into d budget,guy jst leav dat ting una one kill dis man,jonathan will face asuu,nma,nupeng jst name it even u can start d push for d procurement of military equipment.remember he is only human flesh and blood lik me and u

  18. beegeagle says:

    Like the agility and versatility of a Landcruiser gun truck makes up for its soft skin when compared to MRAPs which are able to withstand IED blasts, the nimble A109 LUH makes up for its lack of an armoured hull with its agility.

    In any case, armed scout helics such as the AH-6 Little Bird/OH-58 Kiowa types…not to mention the Huey, have never had the protection which is typical of the Apache but they have been fielded in battle for as long as anyone can remember.

    Malian rebels, on account of the weaponry stolen oe acquired from Libya, included AA guns and missiles. Somehow, the Gazelle was the mainstay combat helicopter used by the French.

    Elsewhere, Iraq, Syria, Morocco, Lebanon, Egypt, Rwanda have all used armed Gazelle helicopters, many in conjunction with Mi-24s, to devastating effect in either conventional or counterinsurgency operations.

    Indeed, I doubt that those fleeing terrorists looking to cross the desert into Niger, the highlands into Cameroon or the lake into Chad shall pose a major threat to A109 crews.

    @ALL. Go easy on the Air Chief abeg🙂 E don do. Let us concentrate on the tactical and strategic institutional blunders as we see them. If Oga Ifiok thinks they are doing the right thing by keeping the A109s out of combat operations, that is also a vote of confidence in the CAS.

  19. Yagazie says:

    Oga Beegz, it’s very difficult to go easy on the Air Chief when he is shown to be manifestly incompetent and has no ability to move the NAF forward. The Airfroce is a highly technical force and of the 3 services, is the one most likely to influence the outcome of a war. See what NATO did in Bosnia with airpower alone. Ditto the Americans, French and British in Ghadafi’s libya. Comming closer to home, see what the Zimbabwean Airforce did on behalf of Joseph Kabila’s regime to the Ruwandans and congolese malitia when they invaded the DRC. Airpower is serious business and we need someone who is competent and understands the need to have a fully functional and well equipped airforce, not a CAS who got the job simply because he is ‘pally’ with the president on account of being the former commander of the Presidential Fleet. AM Badeh is INCOMPETENT and should be removed. The debacle at the airforce base in Maiduguri happened on HIS WATCH. Nothing personal but we can’t have the develpment of our Airforce stifiled because it has a clueless ‘fatso’ as the CAS. Okay please point to one solid thing he has achieved since assuming office as the CAS?

    • Are James says:

      Air power wins all wars. Lack of Air power loses all wars.
      Even urban crime fighting and anti drug wars are fought now from the air. If I personally don’t see a change in the profile of NAF in the next six months, i will start to complain to my Rep and Senator and also write anonymous letters to the relevant committee s in the NASS.The mistakes of commission have actually started to cost young lives as we saw a few months ago.

      • jimmy says:

        I honestly believe it is going to take a campaign of our senators.I saw how the ASUU played out over a bitter six months. It cost human lives and focused a very uncomfortable light on Gej.Maybe the same uncomfortable light should be shed by us civillians on the airforce.just maybe then we will see 20 million dollars no 200 million dollars spent on the airforce. T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

    • jimmy says:

      Oga yagazie For one full year.I have kept my powder dry. Of what use is this pally relationship worth if he cannot point to one single meaningful procurement when does he use up some of that credit he has stored. Oga beegs and I mean this with great respect he got to go.right now to many people he is viewed as. The anchor weighing down the airforce.The danger we face in the air force is even bigger than procurement it is that of settling for s—t.Nigerians are much better than what we give them credit for teach them to fly su 29/30/35 they will fly it In less than five years bet on it nigeria will roll out her first Air supremacy wins wars and is a deadly serious biz and based on his record,utterances and lack of a clear vision The cas has not shown any competency in fact his closeness has been as a major liability in terms of speaking his mind. Friendships are built on truths and exercising those relationships to build a better nigeria this has not been the case here. T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

  20. beegeagle says:

    🙂🙂 no comments

  21. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Beegz, u don start again! I don keep mum on this CAS matter’o, I no dey’o. But my stand has always been ‘don’t judge a man’s job if u don’t give him the necessary tools’, however If the man says he’s ok with what he has, I will not change the marking scheme 2 accommodate him!
    On the LUHs, u remember that we have a squadron (barely)! However, u are comparing with those who had hundreds hueys et al, who had blacken the sky with the sheer no of airborne assets and had unhindered situational awareness ‘most’ of the time! Then u talk about the superb EO sensor suite/hellfire combo on board on those little bird!
    If we go that line, mark my words, we will have losses, the attrition rate will be high and the question is will this tight fisted gov be prepared 2 cover the loss? So why not just crank up the no and properly upgrade them and get the hind we’ve been clamoring for?
    Remember the alpha we lost? Will we not also be shouting to the high heavens on why we sent those copters for mission they were ‘unfit’ for?
    By the way, I’m not against sending the LUHs to theatre, I’m just for properly equipping them! Why must we always take half measures? Why?
    Bottom line is that those kittens aren’t drones, they will be pilots, real people piloting them and it takes time and money 2 train them even more than replacing the airframe!
    Send the kittens to theatre, by all means but may we think it through b4 we commit those young dads, sons and brothers in harms way and at least give them the barest EO sensors and standoff weapons (even the Canadian CRV-7- arguable the most accurate unguided rocket in the market) b4 u send them in!

  22. ifiok umoeka says:

    As for Mali, yes the Gazelles albeit were properly equipped with 20mm and HOT missiles were I’d dare say the copter attack mainstay (supported by the similarly equipped but heavier pumas and eurocopter tiger) yet we all know that the rafales, mirage 2000 and F1CR supported by atlantique MR planes and harfang (Israeli drones actually) drones did most of the strike and close support job.
    Then again, perhaps 80% (guessing) of the ISR work was done by the US.
    So, wasn’t just a ‘send the gazelles over’ issue, warfare is now network-centric ever since the Israeli/Syrian showing over the skies of Lebanon in 1982 and that’s why the west has always had air superiority if not supremacy!

  23. drag_on says:

    Do you know that the South African Roovialk attack helicopter is a derivative of the Super puma?.If we feel the A109’s are too soft skinned then lets hand them over to proforce to armour-up the most vulnerable areas.We kit them up with FLIR and an NVG suit and we use them (together with 1-2 mi24s) for Night Operations to harass Boko haram;,make sure they have sleepless nights and no peace.

  24. ifiok umoeka says:

    Added amour results in greater weight and that negates agility strength of the 109. Thus u’d need 2 replace the engine with an uprated one! So why not just get a dedicated attack bird like the hinds or even havoc 4 that matter?
    Like I said, we need 2 think through with this, warfare isn’t just about a platform, its about a network of platforms integrated 2 fight 2gether as a team! U can use the 109 as an pure gunship, u can use it as a light attack scout bird but u need 2 equip it and develop tactics for it!

    • drag_on says:

      Oga ifiok,you can be assured that i would be amongst those on the queue to give our boys what they need but we all know what our CAS will say ….”all is well”. Dedicated attack birds are designed to a lot of damage. When i say armour up, i mean protection from small arms fire to vital areas of the A109’s. As for the A109 as a gunship, i see it more as a stand-off second-wave, after the hinds have gone in.Strap rocket pods to it give it FLIR and NVG (darkness is an added protection against boko-haram)and deliver fire from distance after the hinds have disabled most Anti-Aircraft threat.

  25. WachanGuy says:

    I am forever a proud Nigerian, but it is worrying that in a country where $50 BILLION has been declared missing by the Central Bank we are proud of ONE squadron of A109s, which are not even properly equipped for Multi mission use despite being the backbone of our chopper fleet. It is also infuriating that the CAS publicly described the F7 as a modern fighter. It would have been less so, however, if we operated them in significant quantity a la Pakistan(~200 frames) instead of the handful of them in service presently.
    One squadron of 15 heavily upgraded (Pak standard minimum) and armed F7s based in each of Lagos, Abuja, PHC/Calabar, Maiduguri and Sokoto should be the bare minimum if we are to rely on this aircraft as our front line fighter for any reasonable length of time with a view to replacing them in the long term with JF-17 Thunder or J-10 frames, which are cheap enough for our bureaucracy of competing demands to purchase 2 squadrons(30) annually .
    The Hind force should also be drastically increased to ~80 units with 20 going to the Army as start up assets for the aviation wing. All said and done, this costs roughly $3 billion(under 10% of $50 billion) and is spread out over a 10-15 year period.
    Defence is a serious and expensive business, but it can become less expensive if as we make these purchases, we develop local capacity to first of all maintain our frames, followed by local assembly of aircraft and in the long-term, design and production of Made-in-Nigeria warplanes. Our bureaucrats should view these suggested purchases as an investment into the development and evolution of Nigeria’s aerospace and defence complex. Proforce is an example of what can happen with minimal government investment in a sector (DICON).
    Economic and military gains in one fell swoop, why turn that down Nigeria?

  26. rka says:

    At least they have set up a war college in Kainji. They can simulate F-7s against Alpha jets lol.

    http://allafrica.com/stories/201401060434.html

  27. rka says:

    I meant ait warfare centre.

  28. rka says:

    What can I say (air warfare centre). I will learn to spell soon.

  29. Yagazie says:

    WachanGuy, please forgive the CAS- he is firstly INCOMPETENT and secondly a transport pilot and so for him an F-7 Chengdu AirGaurd fighter is a mordern fighter. Thirdly and worst of all, he is a politician who is bent on seeking to please the President by making silly pronouncements regarding the operational readiness of the Airforce , rather than fighting the corner of the airfroce and telling the president how things really are regarding the NAF’s ORBAT. Look at his antecendent, – (i) NAF Airline which he set up (rmember he’s a transport pilot) he can’t maintain, (ii) 4G Fighter aircraft he can’t procure, (iii) NAF bases- he can’t secure, (iv) physical fitness/trim millitary appearance- he does’nt have. (v) Emulate the achievements of his contemporaries i.e. the CNS and COAS- he can’t do. He is a perfect example of why mediocrity must never be allowed the pride of place in any of our institutions at the expense of merit.

    In my opinion, future CASs should be former combat pilot who have headed the TAC or at the very least been a former combat pilot who has headed the Training or Logistics Command.

    • wocon45 says:

      Our one and only CAS do hear am for this blog…lol. “when a stone falls, the ear does not need to hear it before it hits the head ” – wise EWE proverb. The EWE are an ethnic group from Ghana.

    • WachanGuy says:

      @Yagazie there is nothing to forgive. The CAS being a transport pilot is an oft-used excuse to hide the man’s incompetence in my opinion, after all, General N.A Schwartz was a transport pilot and served as the immediate past Chief of Staff in the USAF. I am not an aviator and neither are many contributors on this blog, yet the ideas generated are limitless and largely well suited to our unique national situation.

      This makes it a crying shame that he can look his C in C in the eye, salute and say all correct sir when supposed “bloody civilians” can, without an in-depth look, tell him what is wrong with his “force” and what needs to be sorted out. I don’t have anything against AM Badeh or any senior NAF officers, but for God’s own sake, do some research and come up with credible battlefield solutions, airframes and weapons systems for the boys and stop being the proverbial sheep leading lions. A basic Wikipedia search will set you on your way if the lack of contemporary knowledge is that serious. Let’s stop the needless bloodshed and time wasting and make 2014 a year to be proud of the NAF, please!

  30. rka says:

    As we so love the Mi-24/35 series, why don’t the powers that be order the Mi-35M, which is it’s latest reincarnation?

    It does come with digital screens and NVG compatible cockpits as well as more advanced rockets/missiles, although it’s defensive aid suite hasn’t been modernised yet.

  31. Nnamdi says:

    …Govt to spend billions on weapons

    Category: News
    Published on Monday, 23 December 2013 05:00
    Written by Turaki A. Hassan
    Hits: 833

    The Federal Government has allocated billions of naira in the 2014 budget for the procurement of weapons and security-related equipments for the various security agencies, an analysis of the budget has shown.

    Details of the 2014 appropriation bill obtained by Daily Trust indicate that the government intends to purchase different calibre of arms, ammunitions, GSM tracking devices, anti-bomb equipments, armoured personnel carriers, anti-riot equipments, bullet proof vests, ballistic helmets and other related gadgets for security agencies next year.
    According to the details of the N4.91trillion budget, the Nigerian Army will procure ammunition worth N697.7 million, while the army engineering corps will be commissioned to produce Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) for the army at the cost of N100 million.
    For the Navy, the government will acquire two offshore patrol vessels worth N5.2 billion while ship spare parts will gulp N2.7 billion.
    The Nigerian Air Force is allocated the sum of N286.4 million for the procurement of MI-34/35 helicopters, N1.8 billion for the purchase of six MI-35M helicopters, N1.5 billion for the maintenance of Alpha jets, while the quick response force will purchase equipment worth N301 million.
    In the same vein, the Air Force will renovate its arctic L-39ZA AC for N1.3 billion and maintain the super puma for N324.5 million.
    The Defence Industries Corporation Kaduna is allocated N300 million for the procurement and installation of 7.62 by 39m production line, another N150 million for the procurement of raw materials for the operation of the 7.62 by 39M new production line.
    The office of the National Security Adviser will conduct a security programme for N5.1 billion in 2014, purchase security equipments worth N837.3 million, N2 billion will go for its emergency response centre, N1.2 billion will be spend by the NSA on NICEP II security elevation phase II and N11 billion for the purchase of enhanced and specialized security gadgets.
    The Directorate of State Service (DSS) has a security vote of N3.3 billion; N2.89 billion will be use to buy security equipment, N425.6 for the procurement of Polaris mass location and wireless tracking system, strontium sky digit recovery system for N359 million, mobile hammers N412 million, GSM intercept will gulp N359 million.
    Also, the DSS intend to procure fire arms worth N350 million, disaster recovery centre construction will cost N200 million, building of five detention centres at the six geo-political zones will cost N150 million and V-sat software purchase will gulp N50 million.
    The Nigerian Intelligence Agency has a total budget of N36.9 billion of which N3.9 billion will go for enhanced field communication, while secure email encryption infrastructure will cost N1.6 billion.
    The Nigeria Police formation and commands will procure BMW operation vehicles for N112.7 million, Armoured land cruiser vehicles for GSM tracking N107.8 million, patrol vehicles N202.6 million, specialized operational vehicles N222.6 million, arms and ammunition N277.9 million riot control equipments worth N193.9 million, and ballistic helmets and bullet proof vests for N297.5 million.
    Similarly, the police will also purchase DNA equipments for N68.6 million, explosive ordinance disposal for N163.7 million, security intelligence for N144.1 million, GSM tracking for N167.7, million and communication equipment for N183 million among others.
    The Defence Intelligence Agency is allocated N7.4 billion, Defence Intelligence school got N363 million while the Command and Staff College Jaji got N3.2 billion, National Defence College got N6.9 billion, Nigerian Defence Academy got N8 billion, Nigerian airforce got N73.302 billion, Nigerian Navy got N70.2 billion, Ministry of Defence got N23.2 billion while the Defence Headquarters got N1.8 billion.

    • Are James says:

      Everyone has read this news item. It was as incomprehensible as can be expected of any Nigerian defence correspondent.
      The way the Nigerian defence budget is presented 3 categories of subheads are used to disguise weapon procurement capex. They are usually stated obtusely under ‘ongoing projects’, ‘new projects’ and ‘procurement of arms and ammunition’. You really need to have viewed the previous 3 years budget to be able to distinguish between old procurements being serviced (paid for), new procurements thst are sometimes stated under ‘new projects’ and also to look for the arms and ammunition procurement sub head under which rockets, bombs and missiles procurement would be sometimes hidden.
      The point here is that no Nigerian journalist currently has the knowledge to read through and decode the deliberately constructed labyrinth of mis information.

      • doziex says:

        Oga Are james I bow o !

        Is their intention to show case their code writing abilities, by obscuring the details and intend of the budget ?

        Only in nigeria. No body else finds it necessary world wide .

    • giles says:

      but i thought dat 2014 budget was jst 4.61 trillion naira,pls wer did u get ur figure’s from.nigerian journalist are so shallow

      • beegeagle says:

        FEDERAL GOVT BUDGET ALONE.

        In 2013, the total for FG and states was about 11.5 TRILLION NAIRA. If you add the budgets of 774 LGs to that, the national total for all three tiers of govt would be 15 TRILLION naira.

    • doziex says:

      Oga nnamdi, the devil is in the details.
      To be honest, billions of naira, which may be amounts to tens or hundreds of millions of usd, doesn’t amount to much, when we are discussing military procurement.

      These are national investments, that must run in the billions of dollars to be of any noted relevance.

      Our MoD should publish more details on the specifics of what they intend to purchase, and how it satisfies the numerous gaping holes in nigeria’s defenses.

    • beegeagle says:

      This is a less than honest account. How does US$1.66m buy Mi-34 and Mi-35 helicopters?

      These lies are the reason why Nigeria is getting under-served in the realm of procurement since the FG have boxed themselves into a corner which has them suggesting that procurement is anathema. Shameful stuff. Expensive or not, the FG have lost the prerogative of determining what best serves our national interest?

      SPELL IT OUT, flagrante delicto. You are the government. Stamp your feet cos we are at war. If we cannot engage in EXPENSIVE procurement now, when would that be? Does anyone fight insurgents with sticks and machetes?

      • drag_on says:

        Oga beeg the journalist made a mistake, the $1.66m (=N= 286,457,213) is for Hind ammunition. It maye take a separate post to break down everything but the detail is at the Budget office website(a pdf file).
        http://www.budgetoffice.gov.ng/2014_budget_proposals/11.%20Summary_Defence.pdf.
        what suprises me is NN01002075, ‘Acquisition OF 2X offshore patrol vessels =N=5,203,416,578’. Is that a double post,considering the same(OPV) was budgeted last year, or is this an allocation for a 2015/2016 delivery?

  32. cutievik says:

    If only it would be spent as planned, if only…….

  33. ocelot2006 says:

    Arming the A190 LUH may not be necessary. If we want a bird comparable to the Gazelle, why don’t we upgrade the Bo-105s we have in storage? That’s where we must start. And apart from additional attack below like the Hind, NAF must invest in more medium lift below like the Mi-17 and the PUMA. These can be used by QRF troops up north.

    By the way, any more news on the Super Tucanos we were interested in? That’s an ideal COIN aircraft.

  34. drag_on says:

    The 2013 budget link does not open on the budget office site,but i saved a copy and it states that the budget for 2x Offshore Patrol vessels is =N=10,019,875,96.Seems like only half payment was made.

    • beegeagle says:

      The reason why the sub-head on 2 OPVs has been appearing repeatedly and on on annual basis is because they represent “ANNUAL SERVICING COSTS” stemming from instalmental payments.

      Remember that the initial outlay which was written into the FY 2012 was US$42 million but when the actual contract was signed in April 2012, it emerged that the total cost implication for the acquisition for both ships was N24 billion (US$155 million).

  35. G8T Nigeria says:

    Good, at least we are seeing a new drive to reposition the Nigerian Armed Forces. My focus is the acquisition of 2 x OPV that have been stated in three or four budgets now. I am convinced that the PIPAVAV contract is certainly alive but my fears are that the NN seems to be left out on the contract, hence have no information on it.. Ghana Navy signed a contract with an Asian firm for construction of OPVs, Mauritanian Navy received 1 PIPAVAV OPV before the PIPAVAV/ W-AFRICAN NATION deal, E Guinea is heading far from India e.t.c Only Nigeria seem to be in line with the demands of the contract ( intial 2 + 2 additional) for delivery in 2015. PIPAVAV successfully completed the Indian/ W-African Nation OPV design test in 2013. 2015 will be a revelation otherwise we MAY agree they meant USS CHASE now THUNDER, USS GALLATIN and USS MCDOWELL. Quite confusing then.

  36. Are James says:

    About 6.0 billion Naira ($350 million) littered in bits and pieces all over the budget document for defence attaches in countries you wouldn’t believe. That’s already 6 Su 27 flankers complete with training and weaponry.

    • beegeagle says:

      My brother, for US$12.5m inclusive of upgradation, we can get eight Su-27s off long-term storage from Ukraine. That is US$100m.

      Assuming that they have 1,250 flight hours left on their engines, that should take the NAF through to 2025 in good form. Weekly LAG-BAGA-LAG 2,000 mile return flights each lasting two hours is what we need to keep the pilots logging a minimum of 100 hours annually.

      We need to stop treating our national defence like an ill-affordable luxury. Since last week, the Vice President and the Supervising Minister of Defence have both been quoted as saying that “no meaningful development can take place in the absence of SECURITY”

  37. Are James says:

    SORRY, WRONG CALCULATION HERE.
    N6.0billion is about $35 million or so.

  38. Nnamdi says:

    i have a picture taken from distance of an “unknown” ship sitting at the NNS Beecroft amidst other navy ships taken in November 2013. The point of interest is the colour scheme on it, unlike the NN ships colour of gray over black, it has white over red. I guess that belongs to the US Coast Guard .

  39. G8T Nigeria says:

    Negative. NO United States SHIP WILL BE ALLOWED INTO NNS BEECROFT. Only the Spanish Naval ship has been considered for that. Sometimes, arrested vessels are brought in.

  40. Nnamdi says:

    @ G8T Nigeria, I meant that it could be a transferred asset from USCG.

  41. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga Beegz, I seriously doubt that those Belarusian airframes have that much life in them! Remember that they are over 22years old (soviet era) and were inherited after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1992!
    More over, even for bombing missions, the planes will not be flown in a straight line, combat maneuvers and fighter combat maneuvers specifically entail more than that! However, we can still arrive @ the same 100hrs per year(which is really low but eno good, eno good edei help) sum.
    My guess is that the airframes hold something like 700hrs in them and when coupled with a simulator will serve as a perfect conversion bird for the Su30s or 35s. So the earlier we squash a long term gaze @ those 27s the better 4 us if not 4 anything, then because of how our politicians think and speak concerning procurement!

  42. tim says:

    What’s up with our mb339’s? I heard of upgrades, after that nothing……not even pictures or stories.

    • Are James says:

      The plan was to upgrade them to MB339CD standard which would have been a very impressive piece of kit for light ground attack and maritime defence. Since we have had no more info for two years, I assume that something typically Nigerian has happened to them e.g. they haven’t paid the contractors.

  43. G8T Nigeria says:

    @Nnamdi that I believe should be NNS LANA A489, NN survey ship.

  44. beegeagle says:

    PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE IN US$30 MILLION DEAL FOR 21 UNITS OF REFURBISHED UH-1 HUEY COMBAT UTILITY HELICOPTERS.

    http://www.janes.com/article/32196/joint-venture-to-provide-uh-1s-to-philippines-announced

    • Max Montero says:

      Hi General Beeg!! Noticed this post of yours! This is actually a stop-gap measure of the PAF as it awaits a replacement for the UH-1H in service. There are actually 4 squadrons of UH-1H, but the numbers has come down to a point where all squadrons are under-equipped. 13 of the UH-1H will be standard refurbished, while 8 will be uprated versions, probably Huey II standard (there are already 2 Huey II in PAF service). It is also expected that the PAF will finally settle on its future combat utility helicopters, expected choice is a militarized Bell 412EP similar to what the Canadians use (CH-146 Griffon). As for the gunship roles, it just recently awarded AgustaWestland for 8 AW109 gunships, probably LUH versions, these are to complement the smaller MD-520MG which will undergo a SLEP after being in service since the early 90s.

  45. ifiok umoeka says:

    They’ve been pursuing that deal for a while, I hope they get it! They’ve had a lot of experience with that type over a while both in piloting and maintenance, I think they even have a related deal 2 refurbish the type remaining in commission! But men, @ $1mn+ per piece, that’s some deal!
    Ariel Sharon is dead!

  46. Are James says:

    The Hueys are particularly good for mounting two-man crewed heavy machine guns (port and starboard), single manned gyro stabilized sniper rifles and raining down accurate fire on the enemy whilst doing evasive manoeuvres. Training intensive but highly effective in COIN operations.

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