This long-term stored Super Puma, initially withdrawn from service in 1997, was refurbished and upgraded alongside NAF 567 by Eurocopter (Romania) and reintroduced into service in March 2012.

At the time in March 2012 when they were reinducted into service, outgone Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Umar, indicated while speaking to NTA News, that two more Super Puma helicopters which have been in storage since 1997, shall similarly undergo refurbishment and upgrades at the facilities of Eurocopter (Romania)



About beegeagle

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

    So that means there are 3 Super Pumas in service now?

  2. beegeagle says:

    No…they have to be about six units of AS332 SUPER PUMA operable now, pending the further exercises in the upgradation of crated Puma/Super Puma helics. I am not aware that any of the smaller SA330 Puma are in service at this time. Some of them could be in storage while others are possibly unservicable. Several of the larger and ‘younger’ Super Puma are however aloft.

    General Obasanjo acquired about 12 units of 16-seater SA-330 Puma during the late 1970s when he was the military Head of State. General Babangida later acquired a further 6 units of 24-seater Super Puma during the late 1980s/early 1990s (the batch to which this hitherto crated unit pictured above belongs).Those are the ones now being upgraded by Eurocopter Romania.

    In 2011, four other factory refurbished units of Super Puma which are optimised for maritime operations and surveillance were acquired from France.

    Do the math then..

  3. tim says:

    The super puma’s re also capable of carrying the exocet anti-ship missiles

  4. beegeagle says:

    Yes, the Super Puma helics were said to have been configured to launch EXOCET missiles.

    The latest haul of B1/C1 variants mentioned in the embedded weblink are optimised for maritime operations and almost certainly possess the ability to launch torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

    Still, for that sum of about US$100 million, I would have acquired twelve factory-refurbished Mi-17s for US$50 million and spent the balance on two B1/C1 variants while upgrading all pre-owned Super Puma…not spent all of that on just four airframes. The NAF are not optimally funded so they must learn to kill as many birds with one stone in any outing.

    Imagine what we could do with twelve Mi-17s – think counterinsurgency operations in far-flung borderlands and foreign expeditions.

    But hey, they made their choice though and it is done…

  5. drag_on says:

    The engine and air-frame of the super-puma is the basis of the South-African Rooivalk attack helicopter .Denel is desperate to sell the rooivalik but the SA government have not bought enough numbers to instill confidence in foreign buyers that after-sales maintenance will be guaranteed for quite a while.

  6. ocelot2006 says:

    That’s great. Let the Air force redeploy these birds up north for the QRF teams stationed there pending the arrival of the Mi-17s.

  7. doziex says:

    The 4 birds that came from france, were sent directly to the UN mission in Darfur.

    Nigeria Badly needs those choppers, and the remaining 2 battalions in Darfur.

    We need to withdraw all our UN troops from Darfur, there are plenty other nations that can take our place.

    All hands must be on deck, in the war against BH and now the “Herdsmen”

    With 200 school girls just kidnapped from a protected school, our authorities are clueless and in trouble.

    Mr, president, you have to assess the current limitations of our forces, and authorize the employment of EXTRA HELP.

    By extra help, I mean PRIVATE MILITARY COMPANIES.

    They exist to provide services that we badly need, but are not yet competent in.

    Or services, that NA used to be competent in, but is not at the current time.

    Sir, a stitch in time saves nine.

    Don’t wait till Abuja is under siege, to approve the employment of PMCs.

    • Henry says:

      Oga doziex, are you a private military contractor? What’s in it for you?

      Every problem is met with a PMC solution.

      • doziex says:

        Oga henry, one has to be a soldier first, gain vast experiences, retire and then try to join a PMC.

        I have never been a soldier of any kind.

        However, since nothing is working as we speak, what would be the harm in covering all our bases ?

        If you guys 1st research the topic, rather than just be reflexively against it, you might be surprised that you agreed with me all along.

      • beegeagle says:

        🙂 Some comic relief to light up a sad night. Very direct question too..

        Oga Doziex, are you this much of a diehard in real life? You strong abeg 🙂

      • doziex says:

        Oga beeg, Nah fire works go kill me ?

        I am not a diehard, it is called conviction.

        A while back, I asked if you could put a small treatise on PMCs , their force structure, mission statement and present day MO.

        Even missions past and current.

        MPRI, TRIPLE Canopy, DYN CORP, XE aka BLACKWATER, EO AKA STTEP(Though COL.Eeben said it’s not the same company)

        There also many isreali and british firms , I am not familiar with.

        Please gentlemen, lets discuss this issue from a knowledge based position,
        and not from an emotional one.

        Do some research for yourself the intelligence/special forces unit general Mchrystal but together to capture Saddam Hussein, and to kill Al queda in Iraq boss, Abu Musab Al Zaquawi.

        This is the template that must be recreated to neutralize Shekau, BH sponsors and their entire organization.
        He was on his way to replicating these feats in Afghanistan, when reckless political subordinates caused his demise.

        Such generals become private citizens. And Nigerians think there is no treasure there ?

    • asorockweb says:

      “Don’t wait till Abuja is under siege, to approve the employment of PMCs”

      Sounds like war profiteering.

      In a proper war, you could be shot for that.

      PMCs have there uses and the NA has used them to enhance training, in fact the US uses PMC to enhance training.

      Your suggestion that PMCs have some sort of built-in superiority is completely flawed.

      In fact, I am beginning to think that the NA’s newly found emphasis on special operation troops is part of the problem. Reminds me of Donald Rumsfeld’s initial ideas about how to prosecute the Iraqi war.

      What I would like to see is the evolution of the combat arms of the Nigeria Police. Maybe we could use PMCs to train up combat-capable police units.
      The Police should take care of the herdmens and the urban patrol duties that the army is currently engaged in.

      PMCs will never be involved in combat operations in Nigeria, it’s a nonsensical idea.
      You haven’t thought of the political repercussions,
      PMCs will be considered to be US troops and the religious extremists will have a field day recruiting. The BH problem will increase a 100 fold. Instead of facing 1000s of BH fighters you will be facing 100,000s.

      PMCs in combat operations in Nigeria is not even a short term solution, it is a shortcut to disaster.

      • beegeagle says:

        That is absolutely spot on, Oga Asorock.

        Personally, I recall asking Colonel Eeben if he has tried to get involved in the counterinsurgency operations at the level of training the CTU and some MOPOL chaps. I was thinking a Police COIN Command made up about 15,000 CTU and 10,000 MOPOL cops. I had the tough KOEVOET paramilitary cops of the Border War in Southern Africa in mind.

        We used to discuss the ebb and tide of the conflict and this was at the time when attacks on police stations were very rampant. I remember telling him that the Nigerian military, being emblematic of our sovereignty, would be loathe to accept any PMC involvement on an institition-wide basis.

        :;) Oga Doziex, you go soon cause fight for hia with dis ya PMC biz. You just drawing flak from everywhere today. Na wa o.

  8. startrek says:

    Affirmative oga asorock …a PMC solution in Nigeria is simply a Medusa but oga dozie keep it up I believe our big bosses at defsecintel need all the great, the good and the crazy ideas they can get to solve this particular Nigerian mystery.

    • gbash10 says:

      What is the difference between PMCs and Mercenaries? Please they the PMCs,should be used for training only,our troops and their equipments should be withdrawn from Liberia,Sierra Leone,Darfur and Somalia to come and deal with Boko Haram and those Herdsmen.
      The FG is not serious about reactivating NAF platforms that have been in mothball at all,even though some were sparingly used.
      The NAF Jaguar jets,Ammerchis MB-339A trainer jets,Bo-105 and Puma helicopters etc can be upgraded with new engines and advanced avionics.How many of us know that the NAF have been warming the Jaguar jets engines from time to time? These guys are good in storage work,they have not been keeping the birds in the open.If all our Alpha jets can be reactivated then the remaining birds too can be put back to service again!

      • drag_on says:

        Oga gbash10, pls i take what you say seriously.So i have to ask; are you suggesting the jaguars are mechanically functional?

  9. peccavi says:

    You don come with PMC wahala.
    A country as capable, large and populated as Nigeria needs to hire foreigners to fight our wars?
    Ok so lets war game this to the end.
    I’ll start here
    1) What is the problem and how does a PMC solve it?

    • doziex says:

      Thanks for the question.

      The problem, is that due to undue secrecy and corruption, NA has become a shell of it’s former self.

      You can evidence is all over the place.

      Giwa barracks being overrun, soldiers being over powered, and even running from the enemy.
      Poorly constructed, defenses, poorly equipped troops,
      Inability to track large motorized BH units.

      Sparing use of air assets, in a war that demands air assets.

      So, if a reconnaissance units can no longer conduct recon ops.
      And our force protection forces cannot protect our bases.

      What is clearly missing is mentoring/ retraining.

      Our military strategists need mentoring/ help on the effective strategies to employ.

      Our tactical units need retraining and mentor/leadership, when moral is sapped and the status quo has not been working.

      We need help in intel gathering and intel fusion.

      The americans said they would help us with that.

      The americans have even decided to stand up 5 850 man ranger battallions.

      You nationalist Nigerians have no qualms with that, but when an American company or a south African or an isreali company comes to do the same, all of a sudden, your nationalist sentiments are offended.

      Yall need to grow the fcuk up.

      We need the services, the PMCs are providing the services for a fee, that is all that counts.

      WE NEED A PMC LIKE MPRI, in our DHQ.

      The likes of General Odierno and Mcchrystal would do our generals plenty of good.

      In the battle field, I would prefer a proven quantity like Colonel Barlow.

      And his former SADF collegues.

      We need Isreali PMCs for our anti terror POLICE COMMANDOs.

      To reduce and pre empt some of the bombings,

      SSS would probably need Isreali, Pakistani and US govt assistance. Not PMCs this time.

      Our country today, is crawling with western influence in every facet of our existence.

      So why would PMC serve as a recruiting tool for BH ??

      Even the northerners are not that anti western.

      It’s all false bravado.

      if one hates the west, just stop taking western medicine, lets see how committed you are ?


      • asorockweb says:

        @ doziex,

        Your comment is a mix of truths, lies, actuals and imagined.

        ALL Nigeria’s Armed Forces ALREADY use PMCs.

        When it comes to western assisted training, we have ALWAYS had that.
        The US stood up our airborne troops in the 80s.

        British Marines helped with the SBS.
        The Israeli are ALREADY training and working with DSS.
        And in the 80s the Israeli worked with DMI.

        Don’t obfuscate.
        The objections are about PMCs in combat.

      • doziex says:


        Don’t get your panties in a bunch.

        I have always said we need PMCs for training and Mentorship.

        TO help with the brain, not necessarily the brawn.

        So if you took care to read any of my opinions, you would easily realize that foreigners in combat for Nigerians, has never been my suggestion.

        You mentioned all the govt to govt trainings NA has had in the past.

        With PMCs we can now have a govt to private company training/mentorship relation ship

        in which we are not beholden to a nation state, but to the contract signed.

  10. peccavi says:

    Ok Oga Doziex, thanks for the answer.
    As has been mentioned, PMC’s are already being used. A lot more than I like but you are correct they can close a short term knowledge or capability gap.
    My view on PMCs even in the non combat role is the same as buying a submarine because Algeria has one, Su 27s because Uganda has them or MRAPs because the US uses them.
    If you don’t know what you want you are just pouring good money after bad. If you don’t know how to use recce troops then all those highly trained specialists will simply be broken up to either protect VIPs or harass high profile enemies. Cameroun brought in an Israeli Colonel to set up BIRm fair enough they are the most capable of Biya’s troops but once he faced a few demonstrations he sent them in to ‘deal’ with protestors. If you don’t know how to use armour then all the tanks in the world are glorified scrap metal, ask the Syrians, Iraqis and Egyptians. If you have no radars or fighter control systems then your sexy fighters will just be burning fuel in the wrong direction.
    same thing with PMCs
    It starts with political will.
    If the political elements identify capability gaps in our forces and decide they think the General staff will benefit from mentoring then wonderful. You’ll have a brilliant General Staff, buzzing around with an army of men who dont have webbing, or body armour, a police force that has to beg for fuel and men who dont get pensions or medical treatment.
    Of you decide then that you need field commanders to get up to scratch, train them up. they are buzzing with all this wonderful ‘Serve to lead’ ethos but have nothing to lead their men with.

    So it all comes down to political will to make the necessary changes, and the knowledge to know what these changes are.

    Which then leads to the next question, if you have identified these problems and have the will to correct them, then can a Nigerian solution not be found?
    If we think our Generals and their staff need mentoring can we not embed them with another national Army or send them to train with them?
    How did the SADF form its Recces and Parabats? They didn’t bring in outsiders, they sent boys out onto UK courses who then came back and adapted what they learnt to local conditions.
    The Israeli armoured corp of such vaunted fame originated from Jewish British Army veterans.

    Japan went from a backward feudal country to a major power defeating a huge empire (Russia) a few years later by importing technology.
    What do they all have in common?
    Somebody at the top identified the problem and a way to fix it.

    And they had enough faith in their own people to develop their own solutions to the problems and sink or swim by the outcomes.

    In Nigeria we believe in magic. We believe it is Gods will or else some ;other’ will come and solve the problem, foreigners, shiny equipment, the UN, the US, drones etc.
    The only useful foreigner in the Biafran Civil War was Count von Rosen and he did what he did for belief not money.
    PMCs are a quick fix I grant you but the underlying issues will remain

    • doziex says:

      So Bros,
      If PMCs is a quick fix, why can’t it just be the adjunct that gets NA thru the BH, the herds men and the mend problems.
      So we can live to see tomorrow ( post 2015) then may be a Nigerian leader worthy of it’s people would emerge, and as you said, do the necessary.

      On BBC focus on Africa yesterday morning, the host asked a Nigerian commenting guest, What is going on ? with the kidnappings one day, Bombings in Abuja the next.
      Do you guys need help ?

      The well spoken Nigerian commentator then reverted to pride, What help ? no we don’t need any help. We do the helping. You know, we were in Liberia and sierra leone.

      Then he said, may be the americans can help us, but nobody else. Or something to that effect.

      MY fear is that the Nigerian patient is a very pompous patient, that was once a wonderful doctor.
      But now that Nigeria is sick, no doctor is good enough.

      This doctor is expected to cure himself.

      Oga peccavi, we agree on one thing, that a PMC is adjunct ( a quick, additional, supplemental fix to the institutional problems of the NA)

      So, if the combat and security situation continues to worsen, at what point would a quick temporary fix be necessary, in the absence of a Nigerian comprehensive fix.

      • anthony says:

        my brother he be like say you get share for one Pmc company let’s be Frank with our selfs bring the Pmc into this war the out come would remain the same no solution until there is political will

      • OriginalPato says:

        Look Doziex, what you should be advocating for is that the NA have an aim, an objective a goal or whatever you may call it in place. From there the NA will now develop a strategy on how to meet those objectives. This is in turn will lead to the development of tactics which will determine what tools are required. Alas the NA has none. Just Look at the NN they have an objective, they developed strategies and tactics which gave them an idea what tools would aid them in meeting their goals.
        I can bet my last kobo if PMCs were tro be recruited they will be frustrated out of the country, just like Richard Branson and Co.

      • doziex says:

        Oga Originalpato,

        You may be right, Nigeria’s politics, and institutional inertia could frustrate most PMCs, as they have frustrated companies such as virgin Atlantic.

        That is why my choice would be Colonel Barlow’s STTEP.

        If it is anything like the EO, it would be a good fit for NA.

        South African companies have proven to be rugged enough to handle Nigeria’s peculiar challenges.
        We see Shoprite opening a mall in Kano, even as BH continues to try to make northern Nigeria a no investment land.

        EO was very good at adapting to African climate, and delivering tailor made solutions.

        Angola also had a corrupt elite, an army that had advisors from cuba and the entire soviet block.
        The EO folks took what was functional of the FAPLA and added training , mentorship and actual combatants.
        Today angola is still a very corrupt country, sans the problem of UNITA.

        SO the PMCs wouldn’t solve NA’s institutional problems, that is up to Nigerians.

        But what they will deliver is Shekau and BH on a platter.

  11. Oje says:

    Information on the true number of Helicopter gunships in the NAF inventory is conflicting. I read somewhere that there are just seven. As f this writing i am viewing the Nigerian airforce base Port Harcourt via Google earth. I count seven Helicopters lined up vertically on the tarmac, as well as a gulf stream Executive Jet and what seems to be a medium size civilian aircraft.

    • drag_on says:

      You are right about the 7 helicopters on the heliport,they seem to spot the classic jungle camouflage, and then what seems to be a white helic nearby that seems to be the same size.

  12. Oga Oje…..that Google earth view na film trick…lol

  13. Oje says:

    The white helic looks like a Civilian helicopter to me, maybe a supply helicopter, note the seven helicopters lined out have bigger blades than the white one.

  14. freeegulf says:

    oga doziex, you don start with your PMC again. na wah!
    I don’t think you know much about the competence of NA mid level officers. these are very sound and tactically adept officers, and make no mistakes, they are brimming with ideas.
    the problem, is just like every other Nigerian wahala; lack of will power.
    the general staff is very capable, but corruption and will power will always hinder progress.

    whether you resurrect Napoleon the god of war from the grave, he still would be unable to change the situation of things. corruption is deep in every facet of the Nigerian society, the military is not exempted. theirs is even worse, as their crookedness cost lives of gallant soldiers and innocent civilians. No PMC can fix that. maybe you want them to act as transparency international also.
    it really doesn’t matter whether Jaji is the best command and staff college in Africa. there are lots of obstacles, and PMC is not a part of the solution.

    If it makes you any better, know this, there have been Israeli PMC and others training the security forces. except the ones on ground aint to your taste.

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