THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME: NIGERIAN AIR FORCE EXPECTING 6 (NOS) Mi-35M ATTACK HELICOPTERS

PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA

According to an insert in the Nigerian Air Force 2014 Plan set forth in a document published by the Budget Office of the Federation and archived online, the Nigerian Air Force have placed an order for six ultramodern Mi-35M attack helicopters.

The NAF which commenced the operation of Mil helicopters in 2000 with an initial haul of six Mi-35P attack helicopters, later acquired a mix of three Mi-24V and Mi-35P attack helicopters from Ukraine in 2008 and a further two units of Mi-35P from Belarus in 2010.

In 2013, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) logged a report online which indicated that the Nigerian Air Force had another order for three Mi-35 attack helicopters and six Mi-171Sh Terminator assault helicopters. Earlier on in 2014, a Russian online report seen on this blog similarly chronicled the transfer of four Mi-17 helicopters to Nigeria (alongside the six Mi-171Sh Terminator assault helicopters earlier reported by SIPRI).

That suggests that in 2013 and 2014, the Nigerian Air Force have either placed orders for or taken delivery of the following MiL helicopters

– three Mi-35P attack helicopters

– six Mi-35M attack helicopters

– four Mi-17 transport helicopters

– six Mi-171Sh Terminator assault helicopters

That means a total of 19 transport,assault and attack helicopters, delivered or expected in 2013-2014. Before now, the NAF were believed to operate eleven Mi-24V/Mi-35P and four Mi-171Sh helicopters. In May 2013, one Mi-24 crashed during takeoff at Port Harcourt.

AIRFORCE TECHNOLOGY’s online portal indicates that the Mi-35M went into production in 2005.

“The Mi-35M is a multi-role combat
helicopter manufactured by Rostvertol, a
subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. Based on the Mi-24 Hind, the Mi-35M incorporates several improvements
including shortened stub wings, a new
rotor system, modern avionics, upgraded
turboshaft engines and a hydraulic
system. The cockpit and vital components of the helicopter are significantly armoured.”

“The glass cockpit of the Mi-35M
accommodates two pilots in tandem
configuration. The night vision goggle
(NVG)-compatible cockpit integrates
multi-functional displays (MFDs),redundant flight controls and state-of- the-art avionics. The helicopter is equipped with OPS-24N surveillance-and-sighting station, television channel, GPS-guided navigation system and optional non-Russian radio station.”

“The countermeasures suite of Mi-35M
includes a radar warning receiver, a laser range finder and a location finder, chaff and flare launch system, infrared (IR) jamming system and engine-exhaust IR suppressor.”

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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86 Responses to THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME: NIGERIAN AIR FORCE EXPECTING 6 (NOS) Mi-35M ATTACK HELICOPTERS

  1. to4shizzle says:

    Wow!, this is hopefully the first step in the right direction, if Nigeria can get this delivered sending at least 10 of these to borno to Army Aviation for their Operations and Keeping 9 for Niger Delta Usage it would improve the Battle Formation Immensely. It would mean at least 20 or more helicopters can be operational at once. But we shouldn’t Rest on our Oars…..we would need to jack these Numbers to at least 100 no kidding……Wikipedia puts our Numbers of Helicopters between 20-25. Add these haul of 19 coming soon dats about 40 we. Would have we need to go for more making sure our SF, QRF, Army Aviation, Airforce Strike Group all have at least Dozen Squadron of Helicopters in dia Armament. Good Job Nigeria, Let the Sleeping Dragon Awake.

    We should also go out on. A limb for Jets and Re-Fuellers.

    Target 1 : Sukhoi 27,30 and its Variants

    Target 2 : L-15 or Yak-130

    Target 3 : Super Tucano or Tornado and its Variant IDS in particular

    Target 4 : More ATP-42s upgraded to ELINT Standard

    Target 5: An Orion Bird for Intelligence, Communication, Signals more like the Eye in the Sky.

    Target 6 : JF-17 Thunder Block 2

    Target 7 : Antonov Re-fuellers and Transport Planes [VERY IMPORTANT]

    Target 8 : Chinook or Apache [Just to add it there I mean da USA should come through for us at least]

    Target 9: SAMs with Laser and Satellite Guided precisions

    Target 10: UAVs [preferably any European and Western Model as these have proven to work with deadly accuracy] this is until we have our GULMA Perform.

    We still ask why da UAVs Former COAS Said was bought aren’t being used?.

    Wishing the Federal Armed Forces a Strong Swift and Agile War. For Every soldier who lays his life for our protection we OWE u all INFINITE Gratitude.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Etisalat. Enjoy high speed mobile broadband on any of our Easyblaze plans. Visit http://www.etisalat.com.ng for details.

    • Deway says:

      Oga, cool down. We are gradually pilling up assault and transport helicopters, that’s good. So most likely by 2018 at his rate we may boast of 3-4 squadrons of Mi-24/35/17. Not bad. Since there are ongoing speculations/rumours about a possible Nigeria/Cameroon confrontation, I suggest we speed up this procurement and have our arsenal in good state. Hope DHQ is watching and forecasting/projecting. No messing around this time. Good planning gives good results.

  2. ocelot2006 says:

    Good. But I prefer if the transport helicopters are delivered first. They are LOOOONG overdue.

    • xnur44 says:

      What we are getting is almost equivalent of the AH-64 apache longbow and can insert a fighting squad. The game changer is her night engagement capability; thermal/tv guided weapon systems, in other words, we dont have to wait till the sun is up by 5am at 10,000ft to launch counterstrikes. We need this ship aloft fast.

      • ifiok umoeka says:

        My Oga, don’t over load us with excitement’o! The 35 is a sweet bird but not I the class of the apache D longbow!
        The an/apg 78 radar makes it peerless!

      • triggah says:

        Sir xnur 44 don’t over estimate our 35’s abeg oo. The AH-64D is a full blooded attack chopper. All emphasis was placed on its lethallity. While the 35 can hold its own in a class 1 threat condition the apache is a top dog in helicopter warfare period. The AH-64 was designed to perform in front-line
        environments, and to operate at night or day and during adverse weather conditions. Various
        sensors and onboard avionics allows the Apache to perform in these conditions.
        the Target Acquisition and Designation
        System, Pilot Night Vision System (TADS/
        PNVS), passive infrared countermeasures,
        GPS, and the helmet mounted display plus the Lockheed Martin’s Arrowhead (MTADS) targeting system. It can even detect the light and heat from a ground base weapon source imagine that! Its the wet dream of attack choppers!

  3. Delavegas says:

    Hopefully, something that packs enough punch to lay down any surface to air capabilities.
    This recent BH video suggests that they have some hardware too.
    http://ireporterstv.co/ir_fullvideo/boko-haram-releases-new-videomore-threats-made/

  4. beegeagle says:

    Ocelot, the Russian report which I mentioned referred to already actioned contracts as of Dec 2013. The firm order as stated by them included four Mi-17 transport+utility helics and six Mi-171Sh Terminator assault helicopters.

    The Mi-35M attack helicopters and Mi-171Sh Terminator assault helicopters would thus represent the tip-of-the-spear of all owned rotary wing combat assets from the perspective of contemporary technologies and day-night fighting capability.

  5. beegeagle says:

    I wonder what we have been waiting for – so naturally complements the Terminator. Well, better late than never.

    So Nigeria shall be joining Brazil, Venezuela and Azerbaijan as operators of this plucky option which to my mind and in terms of functionality, incorporates the best features of a Mi-28 night attack helic into the most battle-tested helicopter in the world – the Mi-24 Hind.

    By the same token, the Terminator integrates the best features of the Mi-17 and Mi-24 and caps it up with the modern navigational aids and all-weather capability of the Mi-28.

    This should be the way forward for us though. Hopefully, the NAF get four units each of Mi-35M and Mi-171Sh Terminator every other year until 2020. That way, they get to outnumber the venerable Mi-17/Mi-24V/Mi-35P soon enough and give us really contemporary long-term options.

  6. beegeagle says:

    At this point, can we take a look at a vastly modernised variant of the Mi-24, thanks to upgradation by ATE, known as the Super Hind?

    If a US$1.5-2 million upgrade package on each helicopter can be firmed up, it should be a great way to make all our Mi-24V and Mi-35P more capable, day-night vision compliant and as close as possible to the standards of the Mi-35M

    Gentlemen, the Super Hind for your perusal. Portends a new lease of life for our in-service Mi-24V and Mi-35P attack helicopters, if you ask me.

    http://www.guncopter.com/super-hind/

  7. jimmy says:

    6 (NOS) Mi-35M ATTACK HELICOPTERS as the name implies is a game changer. . OGA XNUR thank you for your comments. Gentlemen in every conflict Nigeria has been in there has been some hard bitter truth lessons to learn this one is no different let us go back to the Niger delta insurgency, it showed the urgent need for a revamped navy with fast attack boats, insertion, infiltration and interdiction by sbs troops we could not bomb our way out of it.
    The NE IS SHOWING US THE air force needs to be modernized with a strategic goal towards the long term of acquiring the right type of aircraft with an emphasis and this is key REGARDLESS OF TYPE EVERY AIRCRAFT SHOULD BE ABLE TO FLY @ NIGHT AND PICK OUT ITS TARGETS.
    Just like the Niger delta conflict showed a need for a permanent role for the sbs the naf needs at least two battalions or its equivalent of SF with one of these troop insertion helios at its disposal to place them anywhere in Nigeria. I know they have one at least. but this is become glaring the need for two special forces NAF battalions.
    There has to be some dedication to SYNERGY BETWEEN THE AIR FORCE AND THE ARMY with a unity of command there cannot be two kings in the kingdom.

  8. Donian007 says:

    @Deway, it is a clear fact that Cameroon can hardly pull any stunt from the air and sea, their airforce can’t even fire a gravel to any target as it has been reduced to a presidential aviation firm. Even the best of their BIR and infantry are stationed at Yaounde for Biya and family, so that speculation about confrontation is something they can’t afford.

    • doziex says:

      I beg to differ. Cameroun just acquired 8 ex SAAF impalas. Aka mb-39cd.
      They have always tried to maintain 4 TOW missile armed helicopters.
      They have about 4 alphajets in storage.
      And are said to be in the market for Hinds.

  9. xnur44 says:

    Latitude exist to try some plausible deniability concepts with this weapon platform, we have combat capable pilots, operational doctrine is ‘good’ and shall be better with tv-guided munitions fired under combat scenario; it really open up vistas for us.
    let me clarify what Menatti hinted concerning serviceability of combat assets.
    Serviceability in this context do not connote maintenance lapses/unavailability of assets, it is really about management of funds under the 2014 defence appropriation. The funds approved for the NAF cannot fund a squadron of F-7s nor Alphajets, so it became prude to operate half a squadron of these assets to allow for pilot training programmes, squadron flying programmes and tactical on-call strike missions as may be relevant to ongoing operations in the NE. So serviceability and availability ratios of combat assets is manageable but things might change if there is need to deploy more rotary and fixed wing assets.

  10. jimmy says:

    There are two things i am hoping for in the on going conflict
    The first is a sense that the NAF has to be given the tools to do its job the appropriate / task specific tools / I honestly would prefer that we field what we can get , what we can lay our hands on, what is reasonable not wishful thinking reality i.e i may fantasize about certain things in my life but when i wake up i have to deal with the reality. The naf has to have that reality check, how do they do go about getting both the rotary and fixed wing assets they really need if it will take FLIGHT LT JOHN SMITH 4 years to master flying a 4TH GEN fighter plane they should plan / stratergize in that way of thinking so that it becomes a mantra regardless of who becomes the net air chief and president.
    The second thing is the role and acquisition of NIGHT PATROLS AND precision guided munitions on fixed and rotary aircraft.I am not an air force officer so i am speaking out of my depth here this is my moment of disclosure.However can we logically deduce that it will suit/ be a game changer if this becomes an inherent part of the everyday training of our pilots.We have the gps system for Lagos state there is nothing stopping this same type of service from being extended to the north east , north central and north west from a military perspective.

  11. gbash10 says:

    Goodnews about the procurement Mi-35M attack helicopters but there is still a lack of cohesion among the fighting forces.
    Those choppers can not be given to NA Aviation,and you all know why.
    We should not under rate Cameroun,if their is any perceive threat from them,we should take it seriously.

  12. gbash10 says:

    @ Xnurr44,I beg to differ on your comment ,where you compared the Mi-35M attack helicopter with the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter.The Apache has more fire-power,agility and survivability in the battle field.Also it is a dedicated attack helicopter in the class of the Mi-28NE Havoc and the Ka-50 Blackshark.

    • xnur44 says:

      It is too late for that gbash10, THE DEED IS DONE. Try to appreciate what YOU HAVE.

      • jimmy says:

        Amen o it better to have a helicopter than wishful thinking about something you do not have. T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

    • Are James says:

      Longbow Apache beats everything on paper yet the US Pentagon buys MI 35 and MI 24s for Afghanistan for use against the Taliban, why?. Because only the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Western Europe can actually use these machines day in day out during skirmishes. Why? ……because you need that much more of trained men, spares and processes just to guarantee continued availability to take off conduct the missions and go back again. For the MI 35 & MI 24, just wheel down the cart check a few things, fix a few things, reload rockets and machine guns and take off again.

  13. Donian007 says:

    @gbash10 and Deway, I still hold the fact that Cameroon’s air force can’t bite. Where are the impalas? 2 crashed 4 un-serviceable. The alphas? Old and dusty, no upgrade. What else, those transport helos? What else? I ask. The days of hiding under France is gone, this is today and we will walk the walk when the time comes.

    • triggah says:

      I still do wonder how this west African countries cope with their growing corruption problems. Their armed force is in shambles. At least Nigerial has her head screwed straight that’s because we have a reputation to keep.

  14. triggah says:

    Erm fellow cyber generals sorry for the derialing! I’ll like to hear the analysis. what’s your uptake on the recent saber rattling by both the US and Russia over Ukraine and the Crimea? Things are getting out of hand as Barack Obama has warned Russia not to interfere. while yesterday Russian president Vladimir putin counter warned the US that he will protect russian interest in Ukraine, he immediately ordered troops into the Crimea. The Ukrainians have stage protest today begging for US assistance!

  15. triggah says:

    Erm fellow cyber generals sorry for the derialing! I’ll like to hear the analysis. what’s your uptake on the recent saber rattling by both the US and Russia over Ukraine and the Crimea? Things are getting out of hand as Barack Obama has warned Russia not to interfere. while yesterday Russian president Vladimir putin counter warned the US that he will protect russian interest in Ukraine, he immediately ordered troops into the Crimea. The Ukrainians have stage protest today begging for US assistance!

    As a side note The Budapest Memorandum was signed in 1991
    by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and
    Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA,
    UK, Russia and Ukraine. It promises to protect
    Ukraine’s borders, in return for Ukraine giving
    up its nuclear weapons. A treaty signed in 1994 by the US and Britain could pull both countries into a war to protect Ukraine if President Putin’s troops cross into the country.

    Ukrainian parliament has now reached out
    directly to all the countries who signed the
    treaty.
    Technically what it means is that if Russia put boots on Ukrainian soil the US and UK are obligated by treaty to protect Ukraine. Now Ukraine has called on NATO for assistance.

    • giles says:

      my broda US can’t do any time,but i pity for d ukrainians cause russian will test lots of it’s new weapon dey developed recently on dem,let ukrainia jst cool down for der own sake,if dey cal on nato russian can do it allow or call it’s CIS and other partners

      • triggah says:

        Crimea is home to a large ethnic Russian
        community, which has reacted with alarm to
        what it sees as the aggressively nationalistic
        government that has taken hold since last
        month’s ouster of President Yanukovych.
        Eastern Ukraine, which was another political
        stronghold for Yanukovych, also has a
        substantial Russian-speaking population and saw
        many anti-government protests Saturday.

  16. Obix says:

    My ogas, as someone on the ground i need to give you as much information as possible:
    -Crimea was annexed by the Russian empire in the 18th century.
    -1921, the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created as part of the Russian Soviet Federation which, in turn, became part of the new Soviet Union.
    -1954, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR led by a Ukrainian by birth, Nikita Khruschev issued a decree on the transfer of the Crimean region of the Russian Soviet Federation to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic.
    -In 1991, after the dissolution of the USSR, Ukraine declared its independence . Because of the majority of Russian-speakers in Crimea, there was a move to return the region to Russia, but this was not successful and Crimea remained an Autonomous Republic within Ukraine. Since then, Russia still viewed Crimea as it’s territory.
    -The majority Russian-speaking Crimea region is of political and strategic significance to both Russia and Ukraine.
    Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has its historic base at Sevastopol. After Ukraine gained independence, a leasing agreement was drawn up to allow the fleet to continue operating from there.
    In 2010, this lease was extended to 2042 in exchange for Russia supplying discounted natural gas.
    According to the 2001 census, the make up of Crimea is as follows:
    – Ethnic Russians – 58.5%
    -Ethnic Ukrainians – 24.4%
    -Crimean Tatars – 12.1%
    Just like oga Triggah said, after the fall of Yanukovich, ethnic Russians mostly in the Eastern part of Ukraine are felt unsafe. This gave Putin an opportunity he had been looking for.
    Let me be clear here, Russian boots are on the ground. Remember they have a naval base in Sevastopol and other units on the outskirts of Simferopol. Unofficially, Russian Special Forces and Marines have been operating on the streets since last week in the Crimea. They are operating like “unknown soldiers” without any identification insignias. They have occupied major government building and airport in the capital Simferopol and also military airstrip in Sevastopol from where they have bringing in thousands of troops. The decision by the parliament to permit Putin to send in troops if necessary was just an official statement.
    Anybody who thinks that Russia will give up control of the Crimea and their Black Sea naval base there, knows nothing about Russian history. For a couple of centuries Russia has fought to obtain and maintain access to the sea. The Crimea gives them that access – potentially into the Mediterranean and then the Atlantic.
    Russia fought more than one war against the Turkish empire trying to get control of the Bosphorus straits at Istanbul.and through it into the Mediterranean.
    Russia’s plan is to scare off the Ukrainian authorities from taking any armed operation against the pro-Russian Crimea government until the referendum on self determination is conducted come march 30th . The result will definitely go pro-Russia and that will give Russia legitimate rights to keep the territory under direct or indirect rule.
    NATO cannot help Ukraine militarily, the US and EU can only apply diplomatic pressure on Russia. There could be economic sanctions against Russian interests worldwide. US will continue part of their missile defence shield which they stopped due to Russia’s protests etc.
    In all, any war between Russia and Ukraine will have terrible effects on both (by the way, Ukraine will definitely lose). The 2 countries have centuries old economic, cultural, religious…..ties. It just should not happen. But i see that Putin wants to put his name in history books, as the man who took back Crimea and put Abhazia, South Osetia under Russian control.
    On another note, this should be a case study on how to handle such a crisis from the Russian angle (Bakassi comes to mind).

    • jimmy says:

      OGA OBIX, OGA BEEGEAGLE let me piggyback ontop of what both of you just said
      Some mentioned that the population of Ukraine especially in the EAST IS 55% it is possible to be even higher.
      Culturally, Financially Ukraine of all the former Soviet REPUBLICS is more closely linked to Russia than any other former Soviet Republic if you meet a ukranian IN THE street LIKE MY ex boSS He or She is more likely to speak Russian First Ukraine Second
      * While Europe offered Fake promises to join the glorified EU ( DEBTS ARE US) Putin gave Ukraine $15b in cash this saved Ukraine from Financial Collaspe.
      * The gas pipe line goes from Russia Through the Ukraine to Europe apart FROM JUST THE MERE THREAT OF putin turning the tap of Gas prices may reach $200 per barrel.
      * This is not a knee jerk reaction by PUTIN i believe We carried snippets of it on this blog where PUTIN ordered A SNAP WAKE MOBILIZATION CALL LAST YEAR OF 10 DIVISIONS (150,000 TROOPS ARMOR, PLANES AND SHIPS.
      * As a side note The Budapest Memorandum was signed in 1991
      by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and
      Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA,
      UK, Russia and Ukraine. It promises to protect
      Ukraine’s borders, in return for Ukraine giving”
      up its nuclear weapons. That Treaty don’t mean shit anything that will tamper in the remotest sense with access to the Crimean sea is viewed as a threat to Russia. *Furthermore not that it really matters Ukraine is not a member of the NATO family so no one military is coming to their aid not the US not the UK and most definitely not Germany due to their ww2 atrocities in the Ukraine.
      *Democracy can take many forms I would personally advise the” lady in Braids” to talk to PUTIN She should not adopt the body language of obama she should adopt the body language of the danish p.m hey you never know.
      * Oh by the way the coast guard of the Ukraine no longer exist.

    • giles says:

      bakassi?bros please wake up o,bakassi is dead and gone.

  17. beegeagle says:

    General Obix on the Urals and Caucasus, that was 5-star stuff. I was just looking to insert that burning issue somewhere and you echoed my thoughts completely.

    Like happened elsewhere on her doorsteps in Georgia, the Russians will not suffer fools gladly over this matter. About time someone stood up to the “Free World’s” antics of perpetually seeking to foist her values on foreign nations with disparate interests. EuroNews, SKY, CNN, BBC etc have ALL gloried in dissent everywhere, knowingly or inadvertently playing up the interests of subversive mobs masquerading as ‘activists’ or ‘opposition supporters’ everywhere…from Thailand to Syria, Turkey to Ukraine, Tunisia to Egypt etc all in a bid to promote their idea of unbridled liberties, permissive lifestyles and ‘openness’ which makes sovereign nations test grounds for all manner of insidious schemes.

    Did Britain not go to war on account of a patch of rocky isles called the Falklands located 12,000 km away? So why should Russia not take action on the Crimea right on her doorsteps and with the majority therein showing their allegiance to Russia?

    Openness, democracy and all such slogans steeped in the prescriptive nonsense mouthed by the Free World have become the rallying cry for subversive activities across the globe. They have completely robbed hitherto peaceful and orderly societies of any semblance of decorous conduct.

    Look at the absolute basket cases which the Arab Spring republics have become? Tunisia, Libya and Egypt have since the advent of foreign-inspired “openness and democracy” become new frontiers of operation for terrorists hitherto unheard of when the ‘monstrous regimes’ of Ben Ali, Ghaddafi and Mubarak ruled the roosts? Have Egypt, Tunisia and Libya advanced in any way other than making life brutish, nasty and short for the simple-minded pro-democracy agitators and their nations? See what they have done to Syria? Look what they are surreptitiously engineering in Ukraine right now?

    When will our world get wise to the antics of these powers who are always prescribing systems and practices in a bid to recreate their lost colonial empires or to secure new spheres of influence?

  18. beegeagle says:

    @Eeben of the Legends! Words on marble, my friend. Keep it coming.

    For new Beegeagle’s Bloggers, meet my valued friend, Colonel Eeben Barlow of the defunct SADF…a veteran of the Border War (1966-89) who saw frontline action against Cuban, Angolan, SWAPO and MK soldiers and guerrillas. Post-retirement, he served as Chairman of the world-famous Executive Outcomes PMC which saw action in Angola, Sierra Leone, Papua New Guinea and in some other ‘classified’ African flashpoints.

    Eeben is a combat-proven counterinsurgency expert of the highest pedigree who surely knows what he is talking about. Sadly, my friend has always had powerful enemies. Let us leave it at that for now.

  19. Henry says:

    General oga Obix, I really enjoyed your concise lecture. Thank you. As regards your comparism with bakassi, you did not take into account the real, imminent french threat. I must add, I’ve met a few officers who push away the french threat, but in my opinion, there views were mainly nationalistic, and not based on facts.

  20. xnur44 says:

    There is one thing in Putin that I like, he doesn’t stooge around and He is willing to project leadership and power to the chagrin of whomever may care.

  21. beegeagle says:

    Oga Triggah.

    Nothing is going to happen. Russia is the real strategic gem in the East to be courted and Ukraine can be sacrificed on that altar if push comes to shove.

    Russia will hold onto the Crimea either by referendum or by military action and nothing is going to happen beyond condemnation emanating from those tea-drinking conclaves which they all attend.

    Are you thinking that NATO will shoot down Russian planes at the risk of triggering off a full-blown conflict, just to please a Ukraine which is in every way…militarily, economically and geopolitically, second best to Russia? I hope not, sir.

  22. Obix says:

    Thanks, my bosses. Let’s see what the coming days will bring. @Oga Henry, i drew a parallel with Bakassi in the sense that apart from occupation, Abacha didn’t have anything else on the shelf. Before the case got to ICJ, Nigeria would have organized a referendum to allow the citizens of Bakassi to voice their opinion. With a pro-Nigerian result, we could have had a legitimate reason to keep Bakassi. Probably the story could have been different now.

    • jimmy says:

      OGA OBIX
      something tells me with the rapprochement between the french and the Nigerians .Bakassi with the over whelming majority of its citizens being Nigerian things will probably change in the future when Nigeria has much more forward thinking leaders. Please remember the unwritten rule that Nigerian NAVAL SHIPS HAVE UNFETTERED ACCESS TO CALABAR. Also recall the incident last year when a Naval Nigerian ship almost fired upon a Cameroonian ships that did not want to obey orders.

  23. beegeagle says:

    One has been calling for us to relieve the Ukrainians of some of the 65 units of Su-27 jets which they have had in storage for so long now. It is looking like those jets are about to be lost in dogfights, destroyed on the ground or downed by Russian ADMs.

    Let me say this again. Against the highest hopes of some Beegeagle’s Bloggers, I do not see the FG spending US$90m apiece on Su-35s. It is beyond what our spending proclivities are known to be. We like it on the cheap and that is why we fly US$15m F7s.

    In my humble opinion, the best route to the desired end REMAINS spending US$10m apiece and acquiring four trainer Su-27s and eight air superiority variants – for a total of twelve jets – and that we can grab for US$120 million.

    Like XNur44 pointed out yesterday, full proficiency and support systems would take 3-5 years to put in place. We can afford the luxury of 4G jets with incomparable deep strike qualities for even less than the cost of F7s.

    This suggested fleet of Su-27s would serve to get our pilots fully proficient and dexterous on the Sukhoi heavy class jets. Mastery attained, we can then begin to phase in Su-35s at the rate of six units bi-yearly w.e.f 2018. Haven served as lead-in fighters as it were, do not forget that we would still have the Su-27s complementing the Su-35s until 2025, so that increases our options.

    That is what makes sense to me. All this talk of going from flying F7s to Su-35 Super Flanker jets sounds like wishful thinking. The risks which are conscionable with a US$15 million jet are not the same as entailed in a US$90 million jet. Let us not pretend that the stakes are equally stacked. They are not.

    So let us get started down the right path already with factory refurbished Su-27s each costing US$10 million. In a country known for her lethargic disposition to defence procurement, that is how to coax the establishment into seeing this noble vision as one which is worth investing in and keying into.

    Russia also have stored Sukhoi jets which we can prise away from them. Those which Ethiopia squeezed out in the same way back in 1998 are still looming large and able to strike at targets across their territory and 1,000+ miles from their borders on internal fuel.

    May God grant us the courage to do right.

    • Deway says:

      Oga Beeg, quick question for my knowledge. Are you really sure we can get a refurbished 4th gen air superiority fighter like the Su27 with modern combat systems, full complement of armaments and modern avionics for $10m a piece?

    • triggah says:

      But we do really need those jets now! NAF needs something to form a backbone on, since we’ve made the mistake of buying the F7 won’t it be wise to replace those lost so we’ll bring it up to a full squadron strength. That way we’ll have an interceptor squadron while we wait the purchase of the multirole airplanes which will be use for fighter & strike role. One thing that bothers me is if the NAF has the capacity to handle and maintain a vast fleet of different variety of aircraft since this can cause Logistics nightmare.

  24. Oje says:

    Before now I have indeed visited Eeben Barlow’s blog, he did make mention of “his good friend Beegeagle”

  25. Oje says:

    If I am not mistaken Nigeria currently have 5 sattelites in Space and a couple of Drones from Aerostat in France and an Israel made jet. Not many peope realise that Israel Is the first country to have used drones and for good reason. 9/11 and the rest is history.

  26. startrek says:

    the Russians are a stock in a class of their own. as for Nigeria the reason for which we stupidly cowardly and callously handed over a piece of our land to Cameroon . considering that our then presido was a war hero and former military ruler is beyond me . meanwhile it was this same wise west that fooled him into signing some stupid agreement in this same France again…

    • CHYDE says:

      @ Startek, it baffles me, and i come to the conclusion ‘ COLONIAL MENTALITY’. Correct me if i am wrong please

  27. beegeagle says:

    The answer, Deway, is YES.

    As you might have noted recently, the second-hand units of Su-30K jets (2003 vintage) sold to Angola were each priced at US$10 million. The price tag for a full upgrade package to today’s standards was given as US$5 million per unit.

    Sudan similarly got her first haul of ex-Russian MiG 29s@ US$100 million for twelve units.

    • drag_on says:

      And to think that some Americans bought 2 demilitarised SU 27’s for just $5 million each.These birds have a range of 2000 miles. 4 of these in the Air,4 on the ground to rotate and 4 in maintenance and you have a near constant, quick response force for the North East armed with laser guided bombs for precision strikes. My fear is that we have a top brass stuck in 80’s military tactics and are slow to embrace platform foreign to their training.If true,time for them to go for re-training

  28. Colonel says:

    Thanks beegeagle. Your analysis is concise and inspiring. Keep it up!

  29. beegeagle says:

    @Drag_On. Brother, we have flogged the issue of that compelling beast of an aircraft that I might sound like a broken record trying to rehash same. But here is the heart of the matter.

    With an imperious combat radius of 4,000km (2,500 miles), the Su-27 is about the most long-legged jet available on the rack to be purchased without political rigmarole and prescription. That is, if you are willing to pay, you shall get them. Same cannot be said for any competing Western brand where the sellers would want to draw up a flight plan for you if at all they agree to a sale.

    The other day, I mentioned casually that we are resting on our oars too hard. From Illela in Sokoto State, Algerian airspace is about 850km to the north. Algeria own Su-30s (3,500km combat radius). Sudan lies a little over 900kms to the east of Gamboru-Ngala. Sudan own MiG 29s. The point is that Algeria and Sudan have the means with which to attack Nigerian territory direct from home, given their ownership of these top gun jets.

    Most alarmingly, from Calabar, the Angolan enclave of Cabinda and all our offshore FPSOs are situated within 2,200 km return flight path of the Angolan Airforce. Angola own Su-27s and Su-30s and those are sufficiently long-legged to put the fear of the Living Dread into any defenders within a 3,500-4,000km range.

    Therefore, while we fixate on the limp airforces around us in the name of threat assessments, in our near-neighbourhood, there are countries which pose a significant aerial threat to our national interests yet we continue to bury our heads in the sand, content with surpassing the little that Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana operate? Our threat assessment is majorly flawed and we need to commence the remediation of same immediately.

    Minus the first line charge option being contemplated by the Natiobal Assembly for the MoD, I have previously and copiously stated the need to have a Special Operations and Procurement Fund financed to the tune of US$250 million, domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser and used to make snap acquisitions such that our arsenal is able to remain in step with exigencies at any given time. The NSA will be advised by the Service Chiefs on what to acquire with such monies.

    As of today, and puny as that might seem to Nigerians, here is what US$250 million will fetch us in one year alone if we buy like streetwise people who know what times it is.

    * three 1,800 ton Damen 8313 Oceanic Research and Patrol Vessels, each upgunned with 76mm naval artillery and two 30mm cannons – US$70m

    * three Shaldag Mk.II FPCs – US$20m

    * eight factory refurbished Su-27s (four trainer, four FGA variants) – US$80m

    * six factory refurbished units of Mi-17s
    – US$20 million

    * six factory refurbished units of Mi-24V attack helos – US$25 million

    * 50 units of modernised 30mm cannon-armed BMP 2 IFVs – US$10 million

    * 100 units of factory refurbished Casspir MRAPs – US$25 million

    That is how to cheaply and effectively equip a defence establishment to undertake deep strike, deepwater,counterinsurgency and counterpiracy ops without breaking the bank.

    CONSOLIDATION (YEAR 2) (US$ 250M ONSA PROCUREMENT FUND)

    * four units of factory refurbished Su-27 FGA jets – US$40m

    * four units of factory refurbished Mi-35P attack helos – US$20m

    * six units of factory refurbished Mi-17 helos – US$20m

    * one decommissioned F122 frigate – US$40 million

    * one new Makassar LPD – US$50m

    * 50 upgraded T72 MBTs – US$25 million

    * 25 upgraded BMP 2 IFVs – US$5 million

    * 100 new GILA MRAPs – US$50 million

  30. beegeagle says:

    The awesome Mi-171Sh Terminator

  31. beegeagle says:

    Thank you, Colonel. I trust that all is well around you.

  32. beegeagle says:

    DEVELOPING STORY:

    RUSSIA ISSUE ULTIMATUM TO UKRAINIAN FORCES ON THE CRIMEAN PENINSULA – surrender or face military action.

    • Obix says:

      Sir Beag, Russia is now backtracking, claiming that there was never such an ultimatum for Ukrainian forces to surrender by 05.30 hrs tomorrow! –

      Interfax-Russia news agency is now quoting a spokesman for the Russian Black Sea Fleet denying reports about an ultimatum being issued to the Ukrainian troops in Crimea. “This is nonsense”, a spokesman said. “We are getting used to daily reports accusing us of preparing to military action against our Ukrainian colleagues. We will not be pushed towards a head-on confrontation.”
      I think that would have been unnecessary!

      • rka says:

        Good to know @Obix. It had the potential to be very dangerous and unwelcome at this stage as they have to let Diplomacy take it’s course first.

  33. beegeagle says:

    USED SHIP OPTIONS FOR THE FORCE
    MULTIPLIER EFFECT: STOP-GAP OPTIONS
    AVAILABLE TO THE NIGERIAN NAVY Posted on April 14, 2013 by beegeagle

    GERMAN F122 FRIGATES(BREMEN CLASS)

    https://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/used-ship-options-for-the-force-multiplier-effect-stop-gap-options-available-to-the-nigerian-navy/

  34. drag_on says:

    Oga beeg,here is the Air assets of Sudan,a nation with a GDP of $59 billion,9x less than ours(after re-basing). Our 2014 budget by the way, is about $30billion,half their GDP.
    I know the source is not the best,but it gives a hint at their capability.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudanese_Air_Force

    • rka says:

      I will be very surprised if the NAF take the bait regarding the SU-27 (I hope they do and the rumours are true), but it still seems likely they will opt for the JF-17.
      I was reading in Air Forces Monthly magazine during the end of Block 1 production of the aircraft that block 3 aircraft is planned for 2016 and will entail changes in the aircraft design etc.
      Nigeria is one of several countries mentioned in the article that has shown interest in the aircraft.

  35. Tope says:

    Beeg Eagle Bloggers,

    I think we need to really sit down with this NAF Brass and Cry for them.

    We have been Screaming Sukhoi’s its like we are wasting our time. Is it Until the Day One Foreign Country decides to try out Nigeria’s Air Defence before we wake up, Flash back to 10years ago, if we had told dem Boko Haram will attack most will wave it off but now we see how dey attack daily, God forbid Our premonitions come through.

    We have Steep Competition wit Angola in Gulf of Guinea, We have Steep Competition wit Gabon also. Cameroon have been doing Cat and Mouse games and Other Countries are Facing many issues from CAR to Sudan its Time for Us to WAKE UP.

    We on this Blog will not Rest, If we have Email of the Airforce Procurement Office Send dem our Requirements Daily till dey are Tired!

    Meanwhile France and Nigeria Trade Volume hits 128 billion dollars…..no wonder they want to stand shoulder to shoulder with us loool.

    Finally Let USA, UK, EU, Canada, France plus NATO just keep mute and allow Ukraine and Russia do their political workload. Putin isn’t someone to listen to international condemnation, The USA knows da Real Issues, this was a deliberate attempt by EU to cut Russia of from Ukraine Influence, with the EU deal it would mean Stopping da Russia-Ukraine Gas Supply meaning Russia will now have to buy Gas from EU states, It would also mean The Black Sea Treaty would have been redrawn making Russia Pay Heavily for Access all in a bid to reduce its rising influence, Germany and its Debt r Us Group aka EU plans have gone awry. Russia is 100% right in Protecting Crimerean Citizens because who knows what would have happened next? Notice dia hasn’t even been. Many anti-russian protest only few, 75% of Ukrainians still support Russia’s Actions just shows u not everyone feels switching over to EU is the answer, the EU caused this problem let it fix it. Italy had to suspend its Status so it could re-coup, Even Greece has left it, other countries promised Economic Reforms also Left, the EU is a Mordern Colonialistic Group, allowing Dominant Economies to Suppress subtly Sovereignty of Nation States by providing Useless policies that don’t help for eg, Austerity Measures almost or even Shut Down Greece completely. Russia Offered to Clear da Debt of Ukraine. As a Business Man I will stick wit Russia. This New Found People’s Voice hasn’t helped Egypt, Libya, South Sudan it has worsened issues, this is because the true Systems are ultimately destroyed, If Ukraine wants to get out of this mess, it should keep the treaty it has wit Russia and den ask EU to prove its willingness to support the country, if any one comes up wit the Best Deal for the people it Sticks wit such Finally Finally Let USA, UK, EU, Canada, France plus NATO just keep mute and allow Ukraine and Russia do their political workload. Putin isn’t someone to listen to international condemnation, The USA knows da Real Issues, this was a deliberate attempt by EU to cut Russia of from Ukraine Influence, with the EU deal it would mean Stopping da Russia-Ukraine Gas Supply meaning Russia will now have to buy Gas from EU states, It would also mean The Black Sea Treaty would have been redrawn making Russia Pay Heavily for Access all in a bid to reduce its rising influence, Germany and its Debt r Us Group aka EU plans have gone awry. Russia is 100% right in Protecting Crimerean Citizens because who knows what would have happened next? Notice dia hasn’t even been. Many anti-russian protest only few, 75% of Ukrainians still support Russia’s Actions just shows u not everyone feels switching over to EU is the answer, the EU caused this problem let it fix it. Italy had to suspend its Status so it could re-coup, Even Greece has left it, other countries promised Economic Reforms also Left, the EU is a Mordern Colonialistic Group, allowing Dominant Economies to Suppress subtly Sovereignty of Nation States by providing Useless policies that don’t help for eg, Austerity Measures almost or even Shut Down Greece completely. Russia Offered to Clear da Debt of Ukraine. As a Business Man I will stick wit Russia. This New Found People’s Voice hasn’t helped Egypt, Libya, South Sudan it has worsened issues, this is because the true Systems are ultimately destroyed, If Ukraine wants to get out of this mess, it should keep the treaty it has wit Russia and den ask EU to prove its willingness to support the country, if any one comes up wit the Best Deal for the people it Sticks wit such Finally Let US

    • Obix says:

      @Oga Tope, concerning the Russia-Ukraine issue, I’m quite baffled by some of your views.
      -Signing the the association agreement with EU by Ukraine doesn’t stop the supply of gas to Europe by Russia. How in the world will Russia start buying gas from Europe when she has one of the highest reserves of gas in the world, and Europe gets majority of her supplies from Russia?
      -Ukraine didn’t make any move to withdraw from the Black sea treaty. It’s something you can’t just do.
      -Russia is not protecting the Crimean people, she is protecting her influence and there’s a difference there.
      -When did Russia offer to clear Ukraine’s debts?
      -Italy suspended her EU status and Greece left EU? When?
      -75% of Ukrainians support Russians actions? When? Na wa o!
      Please read all posts concerning the conflict from the beginning and you’ll get more facts.
      Yes, the EU and the US are struggling for influence in Ukraine and it started just before the orange revolution of 2004.

      • jimmy says:

        Oga obix Oga tope got some of his facts misplaced let me help out a bit. First the oil is in Russia and runs through ukraine to the coast whereby it is shipped to european countries. In an arrangement similar to what Nigeria hadwith Ghana the price it sells to ukraine at heavily discounted prices.and things like 90days or moreline of credit are extended to ukraine .unlike nigeria russia does not suffer fools gladly.ukraine owes for this quarter $1.5b.a fact that. They arethreatning to force.particulary irksome to the ruskies is the amount of hard raw cash $15b by some estimates that russia is offering for her to solve her financial woes while the eu pontificates. This and the naval base and the sizeable russian community that rightly fear discrimmination are the main reasons. T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

  36. beegeagle says:

    More like our FEDERAL GOVT budget is half their GDP. The totality of the budgets of the FG, states and LGs fringes on the US$90-100 bn mark.

    Just goes to show you how lame this endless drivel about competing demands ever so often mouthed by the Finance Ministry is. Compare and contrast..

  37. beegeagle says:

    RKA bro, we have always been mentioned in connection with the JF17 even from the time when the Block 1 was in the works.

    The bottomline is this…the JF17 Thunder Block 2 should be the variant in which we express any interest at all and that is for the force multiplier effect.

    Ideally, what we should do is start out in 2014 by doing the following

    – acquiring the said 12 units of Su-27s @ US$120 million using the facility of a special drawdown on the Excess Crude Account

    – accessing Preferential Buyers Credit from China, acquire 12 units of Hongdu L15 Falcon @ US$120 million and six Harbin Z-9C ASW helicopters @ US$60m

    Moving on, that would kickstart our Sukhoi air superiority fighter wing, get us to put structures in place and get our pilots to become dexterous on the airframe. Those twelve Sukhoi jets shall represent the tip of the spear for the NAF and lead us in to the hoped-for era of Su-35s, come 2019. Same way our attack helic pilots developed proficiency on Mi-24V/Mi-35P and are now stepping up to the more advanced and contemporary Mi-35M, the Su-27 pilots would ultimately step up to the Su-35s.

    The role of the L15 Falcon jets would be to serve as fighter trainers for 4G jets such as the Su-27 and the JF17s.

    Come 2016, the NAF should show some courage and place a US$450 million order for 24 units of JF17 Thunder Block II jets which would begin to be phased in by 2017. We should again make a US$200 million down payment and either access US$400 million of Preferential Buyers Credit from China to actualise that vision. That way, by mid-2018, we should have an airforce with a very respectable mix of 12 Su-27s and 24 JF17 Block II jets. That would be beefed up with six Su-35 jets in 2019.
    At that rate, we can celebrate Vision 20:20:20 with an NAF which has

    – twelve Su-27s
    – six Su-35s
    – twenty four JF17 Thunder Block II

    Now, let me be clear about this matter. The Su-27 is intended for strategic strike while the JF17 Block II will be the workhorse of the NAF. While the BVR-capable JF17 Thunder with its open aarchitecture can incorporate Chinese and NATO weapons systems alike, its combat radius is 1,352km. That is intermediate range business.

    Compared to that, the imperious Su-27 boasts a combat radius of 3,900 km and her BVR missiles can hit targets as far away as 400 kms. That is truly remarkable. To think that a Su-27 aloft over Abuja can shoot down an enemy jet as far away as Kano! Or picture being able to down a jet at Mokwa direct from Lagos, beyond visual range.

    Well, everyday I think we have some inescapable decisions to make pretty soon. Come the day.

    • rka says:

      Oga Beeg, I don’t disagree with you, but I am only trying to be realistic considering the way the procurement process runs in Nigeria.

      I think Nigeria’s interest is in the block 2 and I only drew attention to it because Nigeria was among the countries mentioned during the ceremony, which to me makes it a bit more official that it is what the NAF are after, but doesn’t preclude other purchases if you get my drift.

      The block 3 will reportedly bring a substantially altered airframe and maybe a different engine.

  38. Deway says:

    Why has the NAF not thought of disposing the Mig 21s and the jaguars? They are lying there wasting away. Why cant they just sell them off? (and include the F7s and MB-339s as deal sweeteners?) I’m not sure in the history of NAF when a bold move has been made to replace any class of airframes.

  39. Are James says:

    Just a short digression here. Do we have enough MI 35 choppers on surveillance and attack duties in the NE?.
    Just watched interesting video footage on Channels TV, PDP was welcoming defectors from opposition parties (not even campaigning yet) in Kwara and lo and behold a pair of MI 35 helicopters obviously withdrawn from the war fronts could be seen hovering ahead, ostensibly to protect the President, VP and party faithfuls from the market women and kids in the audience… lol.

    We get this ‘encouraging’ signs of political will and seriousness about the war against Boko Haram from our political leaders that we are beginning to indeed agree that this insurgency might indeed be vanquished in April….. we just need leave things to these geniuses.

  40. doziex says:

    All I know, is that I have made predictions on this blog that is 1 to 2 years old.
    Others have made theirs, but I will speak of mine.
    I basically said in very clear language that BH will become the existential threat it is today.
    I also predicted that NA would still not be ready to deal with things.

    By observing past trends and past NA performance, and their proclivities to bury mistakes, rather than learn from them, I nailed current state of affairs, 2 years ago.

    So what does that say about our generals, our politicians and our press ?
    Cause as far as I am concerned, a blind man could see what I saw 2 years ago.

    This is why I continuously call for outside expert advisors to come and evaluate, and hopefully influence the status quo.

    I believe they are all blinded by something, they simply can’t see nor comprehend the suggestions made on this blog daily.

    One has to explain to nigerian authorities why nigeria needs a viable airforce ? Navy ? Or armed forces in general ?

  41. Deway says:

    Not sure how this would sound but its a personal suggestion for this blog. For the sake of positive competition and healthy rivalry, and since some of those who hold the purse strings visit this blog or are passed information from this blog, it will be nice Oga Beeg if once in a while you post acquisitions of other African countries (North and Sub-saharan African), and once in while, a review of their arsenal. We could also throw a page open to discuss how the Kenyans pursued their Somali campaign, how the French did theirs in Mali, how the Sri Lankans defeated the Tamil rebels etc. Just a suggestion.

  42. Number one says:

    The su-27sk is a maintenance beast,since we are most likely going for the Jf-17 block II the NAF should invest in aerial tankers(2/3 factory refurbished Il-78 midas) to increase the range of our fighters.

  43. Yagazie says:

    We are acquiring 6 units of Mi-35M helicopters equipped with night fighting capabilities and we pat ourselves on the back. Nice. However before we congratulate ourselves too much, please lets put this purchase in context with the purchases of other ‘third world’ nations.

    Bangladesh has placed an order for 24 (i.e. TWENTY FOUR) units of Yak-130 trainer/ight attack aircraft in a deal worth $800million.

    Algeria has just placed an order for 42 (i.e. FORTY TWO) units of Mi-28N night attack helos plus 6 (i.e. SIX) units of Mi-26T2 Carrier helos in a deal worth $3billion.

    Nigeria places an order for 6 units of Mi-35M helos. I guess we are not doing too badly (and yes i am being sacarstic).

    Oga Beegz, regarding your comments on the upgrade of Mi-24 helos to super hinds by ATE (Advanced Technologies and Engineering- now Paramount Advanced Technologies), the Algerian Airforce recently upgraded 30 units of its Mi-24D/V helos, (which currently are the main attack helos in its inventory) to Mi-24-III Super Hind Standard.

    This was done by ATE. Note that ATE is a South African outfit and the SANDF DOES NOT have any russian millitary helicopter in its’ inventory. Yet South Africa had the foresight to go into partnership with the Russians to set up a helicopter maintainance facility in their country to service russian helos operating on the African Continent!!

    What stops us from doing the same i.e. – afterall the NAF operates russian millitary helos? Its a question of good leadership, strategic thinking and foresight, which in my humble opinion is sadly lacking. Upgrade our Mi-24helos to super-hind standards by all means BUT IT MUST BE DONE IN-COUNTRY.

    • rka says:

      The sobering thing is, these countries are not even in the middle of an all-out insurgency, but are planning for the future or have learnt lessons from the past.

      Well, we will just have to carry on being “mentioned” in various quarters while our armed forces continue to be under-equipped with 80s vintage equipment, which in some quarters are believed to be “sophisticated” rather than what they are, refurbished old technology.

    • beegeagle says:

      Not too long ago, someone told me backstage that the Algerians are similarly upgrading some of their fleet of DOZENS of Mi-8/Mi-17 to approach the standards of the Mi-171Sh Terminator…just as they have done with the Super Hind.

      Algeria operate a fleet of SIXTY FIVE Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters and a further NINETY Mi-8/Mi-17/Mi-171Sh Terminator transport+assault helicopters.

      Angola operate a fleet of SIXTY FIVE Mi-8/Mi-17 transport helicopters.

      In Nigeria, we are still hiding behind some nebulous ‘competing demands’ to keep our multi-tasked military under-resourced.

      We nuh go behave..na so, so nonsense we go dey hear🙂

      • Are James says:

        I am one of the few observers who opine that the real reasons for our poor combat aircraft acquisition profile is ”operational expenditure cost avoidance” by the leadership of the NAF. They seem quite literarily ‘scared’ of the operational responsibilities and expenditures that a 300 modern combat aircraft inventory will place on themselves being old air marshals who were looking to just hold the job for sometime and fade away. However contemporary events will soon nudge them out of comfort zones with the fight now taken out to them. No more hiding place.
        It will be interesting to see in the short term how they try to cope with the new strategic challenges with three squadrons of 23 year old trainer jets.

    • beegeagle says:

      Well, if the number of Mi-24V and Mi-35P attack helicopters has been under-reported, that would not be a surprise to me. The documented figure in the log books as of May 2013 was eleven units – then we lost one at PHC. So we were supposedly down to ten units.

      Strangely, we had Hind attack helicopters deployed by two air groups in the SoE area, namely 475 Strike Group at Yola and 479 Composite Group at Maiduguri plus the irreducible number at the Special Ops Group at PHC which has now suddenly spiralled to a visible minimum of six units.

      We have always had Hind attack helics visible in the skies above Kaduna and Jaji (remember the 16-week CTCOIN course now mandatorily undertaken by 5th Year cadets of the NDA prior to their P-O-P).

      The Air Component of the Special Task Force (OP Safe Haven) on the Jos Plateau have severally been seen conducting overflights in those precincts using Agusta A109 LUHs and Mi-35P attack helicopters.

      Just yesterday, two Mi-35P attack helicopters were seen over the unfamiliar terrain that is Ilorin while performing Presidential security duties.

      So it is not at all unfathomable that the fleet of Mi-24V and Mi-35P have been undercounted. Remember that nobody has ever recorded the delivery of the quad-barrel 12.7mm HMG-armed Mi-24D (also known as Mi-25) to the NAF but I surely have a photo of at least one unit posted on this blog (photo to be posted shortly)

      • Henry says:

        Oga beeg, I share your views. I’ve constantly said that we have more MI-35/24’s than the conservative numbers that have been constantly reported. How many there are, I don’t know, but I’m sure there are more than a paltry 11.

  44. Oje says:

    In Port Harcourt where i now reside i see twin MI-24 Hind helicopters on routine training/reconnaissance flights for weeks now, this morning however they were six and unlike before where they fly without weapons i saw external fuel tanks and the stubby hard-point wings with what looked like rocket pods. Enroute to Cameroon i presume?

  45. Are James says:

    En route Maiduguri is more likely, the external fuel tanks a dead give away.
    I am in the middle of a ten day visit to Nigeria and I am in PH as well.
    Recall that daily training flights have been common place from this particular air base for years and they were usually jn pairs as you said. This new observation is out of the ordinary.
    With the present level of chopper flights nationwide whoever says we have under-estimated our MI series helicopter inventory is not wrong.

  46. Oje says:

    Interesting, where in PH you at? We could meet up then. I plan on sending a request to the air force base there to take photo’s and get some information on the Port Harcourt air force base under the platform of Beegeagles blog of course.

  47. beegeagle says:

    See the Mi-24D (aka Mi-25) with the quad-barreled 12.7mm HMG? This is one of those ‘unreported’ ones or has anyone ever heard “NAF” and “Mi-25”. But we sure own this…photo taken at the Air Expo 2010.

    A Nigerian Air Force Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter

    A Nigerian Air Force Mi-24D Hind attack helicopter

  48. beegeagle says:

    Note that all of the following are pictured on this blog whereas no hardware transfer logs document the presence of any Mi-25s in NAF service. Confirm or repudiate that, gentlemen.

    Hind D = Mi-24D (aka Mi-25)..carries a quad-barreled 12.7mm HMG

    Hind E = Mi-24V (aka Mi-35)..carries twin 23mm cannons in the nose

    Hind F = Mi-35P..carries twin 30mm cannons on the right side of the fuselage

    On ORDER

    Six Mi-35M all weather attack helics

  49. rka says:

    It would be helpful though if the authorities that be let us know the number of helos we have. There is really no need for this secrecy.

    It is logical that there are more Mi-24/35 Hinds in service (maybe some of the previous orders have arrived) and there may have been HOT deliveries, especially when we take into account that it may well have been 2 Hinds that were destroyed at the airbase in Maiduguri late last year.

    • Are James says:

      Our suspicion of deliberate but ‘commendable’ under reporting of helicopter inventory was aroused when the then CAS said the choppers destroyed at Maiduguri had been replaced. We all took out notebooks and tally sheets and figures did not add up. Nigeria has so many numerous sources of outright acquisitions and leasing of platforms that we can only speculate but overall requirements for combat helicopters in the light of contemporary demands still stand at over 70 units. It is also worrisome that A109 LUHs have seen zero action so far in theatre, not even for surveillance. Some serious work is required in the next few months to make us get value for money from these machines.

  50. ugobassey says:

    Not to further digress but why should Bakassi be dead issue? It originally belonged to Nigeria and it has both strategic and economic potentials. I suggest we need a leader in the next elections that will return Bakassi to where it rightfully belongs.

    • Are James says:

      Who ever is President has his work caught out for him in the DefSec arena. Traditionally the Nigerian Presidency has been determined by rent seeking groups jostling against each other to secure economic advantages.
      What is needed now is a stern Pan Africanist with a bent towards free market economics – a China type of leadership.
      The major DefSec challenges such a leader has to ruthlessly grapple with:
      1. Rampaging deviant Islamic Insurgency in North-western Africa- new defence structures to counter. Buffer zones maintained unilaterally or multi laterally via a strong air force.
      2. Undue ethnic nationalism – agile and effective internal security architecture with good IT support. HUMINT involving penetration of suspect groups, Revamped MOPOL force with highly educated and well equipped ratings, equipment to include; MRAPs, Surveillance aircraft, Choppers and modern side arms.
      3. Bakassi – Re-negotiate from a position of strength. Frequent overtly and good massing of troops along the border.
      4. Niger Delta Economic zone – very powerful but incorruptible force projection structures on the backbone of increased resource control by states and a Marshall plan to raise HDI for all dwellers.

  51. ugobassey says:

    Oga Are you said it all.

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