A photo of what is believed to be a Chinese-built CH-3 UAV of the Nigerian Armed Forces which crashed at Dumge village in Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State.

For a few months now, speculation pertaining to the delivery of long endurance UAVs to Nigeria by the Chinese has been rife.

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. drag_on says:

    It seems to fit the profile of a Ch3. The nose would have confirmed it but it was torn off by the impact.

    • Are James says:

      Dead giveaway undercarriage and propeller. Possible that this craft went beyond range and lost fuel or control signals. UAV operations need to have flight/mission plans as well and we need to buy them in enough numbers.

  2. Augustine says:

    The fact that we may have them is good news, the fact that it crashed is bad news. Hope it’s not reliability issues or poor pilot/operator training. Some good drones now have inbuilt auto return to take off point by GPS once fuel level gets to return flight reserve quantity, or loss of signals from pilot/operator, it saves the millions of dollar worth equipment from crashing.

    • beegeagle says:

      My brother, it has long since been my conviction that the crushing majority of crashes recorded in Nigerian military operations are attributable to human error.

      Since the Pakistani intervention in F7 operations, how many crashes have we endured? None. EGYPT operate over two hundred F7s and K8s. When last did any of those crash? Zimbabwe are almost entirely marooned in F7 and K8 jets? How often do any of those crash? I do not want to blame anything on quality issues. I am sure that Pakistan own CH-3s and they are not crashing.

      Like Are James suggested, this drone either strayed too far and thus lost contact with ground station or the controller could have fumbled while steering it. I refuse to key into those vile commercial stereotypes which always have one thing or the other to do with quality issues.

      If the controller is not yet proficient in the operation of this machine, he needs to be retrained.

  3. beegeagle says:

    Yeah Drag_On, only two things come to mind here.

    * the West would not sell a long endurance drone to Nigeria, let alone an armed one. They would prefer that we outsource that service to them so that they can, most probably, use the opportunity to gather intel for their own benefit. The Chibok-related Western-backed recce overflights come to mind.

    That makes it 95% certain that this is not a Western-made drone in Nigerian service. If it is a Western-made drone, then it can ONLY belong to either France or the USA both of which retain drones in Chad and Niger

    * The only source of an armed drone in Nigerian service would be either China or Pakistan. The fiasco that was the Israeli-built AeroStar UAV deal makes it highly unlikely that these are Israeli-manufactured drones.

    • zachary999 says:

      Its a CH-3 from China, recall the house was alerted to the delivery in December..

      • beegeagle says:

        Thank you. I realise that your take is AUTHORITATIVE. I also believe that it is a CH-3 drone.

        I really cant believe this. This must be the first African-owned armed drone photographed anywhere. See how far the Chinese can take us? I really do appreciate those people for their ability to respect sovereign choices.

      • Henry says:

        From a Positive P.O.V, this is clear evidence that Nigeria Operates UCAV’s. Which is very good news for us.

        I just hope we got at-least 8 of them.

  4. Augustine says:

    Chinese CH-3 UAV armed version would be a good alternative to the American Scorpion COIN-ISR armed jets, Predator armed drones, and Super Tucano light planes.

    The drone has endurance 12 hours unarmed, 6 hours fully armed.

    Price is about $1 million, compared to a $20 million Scorpion jet that also has $3,300 per hour flight cost plus 2 pilots tied down in flight, add all the yankee wahala and insult involved…..yankee predator drone sells for about $5 million plus plenty shakara they do to us. Super Tucano costs about $12 million.

    These Chinese drones can be directly procured for Nigerian army in many dozens and they will need less NAF air support which NAF has confessed will NOT be available in many combat zones. The UAV can destroy Boko Haram’s Toyota 23mm cannon trucks with PGMs. Some 40 units of CH-3 for $40 million is a good idea.


    • doziex says:

      Yessir !!! Oga Augustine, NA is the institution losing lives for lack of air cover. If they invest in Chinese drones, transport and attack helicopters, They could make the NAF redundant in CAS ops. (Close air support)

      If NAF continues to drag their feet as per the ability to perform their functions, the NN should follow suit and develop their own air units

      May be NAF should be left to flying VIPs around

    • Are James says:

      Thank you. I did not even know they were that cheap. The chopper drones we also have are not UCAVs so they would be cheaper. We are going to need hundreds of UCAV pilots prefereably kept in the Nigeria Army.

  5. Tobey says:

    Chineese tools are nothing but scrap metal…We really have to be careful about acquiring these things in low numbers or they’ll just keep dropping like flies. Also, a seperate CH-3 squadron should be established to kickstart the N.A’s Aviation Wing.

    • Henry says:

      Tobey, how you came by this conclusion baffles me. The Sri-Lankans prosecuted what if widely accepted as the most effective COIN/war campaign using entirely chinese made weapons.

      China also is the world’s 4th largest weapons exporter, ahead of France and the U.K.

      So in this instance, you should say, “in my opinion…..”.

      The facts present an entirely different figure.

      • ocelot2006 says:

        Kpom!! Chinese and Pakistani made weapons.

      • beegeagle says:

        Aptly articulated, my wingmen.

        Without Chinese-made ground forces hardware, Chinese, Indian and Israeli-made naval hardware and a combo of airframes from China (F7s and Y12s), Hind attack helicopters and T55 tanks from Russia, MiG 27 ground attack jets from Ukraine and Isreali Kfir jets, Sri Lanka would never have won their war. They also got a lot of infantry support weapons from Pakistan and Singapore.

        Sri Lanka’s Western partners spent every waking moment hounding them over alleged rights abuses and finding every reason not to sell arms to them. Reason why countries which have have been engaged in major COIN operations such as Indonesia, Thailand, Burma and Pakistan are increasingly ramping up stocks of Chinese hardware which do the business and mostly feature open architecture. Never mind that the same West are daily selling arms to despotic regimes in the Arabian Gulf just because they have “an understanding” with Israel?

        Nigerians need to stop seeking demeaning options. We always think we can reinvent the wheel even when the stark reality and antecedents indicate the contrary. They deny a Nigerian the use of a mere uparmoured Hummer and Huey utility helicopters and instead of moving on, he comes back like a besotted kid in a candy shop to ask for Apache attack helicopters, M1 Abrams tanks and F16 jets.

        Hope springs eternal…

    • rugged7 says:

      And what options does Nigeria have when your western friends refuse to sell???
      1st it was cobra helicopters…
      Again they halted sale of chinooks from Israel.
      Even though chinooks are purely transport aircraft.
      And here we have that buffoon Kerry opening his dirty mouth about “cooperation”.
      The Yankees are nothing but 2 faced januses


    • beegeagle says:

      O’boy Tobey, leave out the bad vibes. For her endurance alone, only Israel of all the “Western nations” would have sold an UNARMED variant of this drone. Certainly, NONE in the West would sell an armed drone to any black African nation. Perish the thought.

      It is thinking such as this which has left the Nigerian military punching well below its weight because we spend every minute waiting for idealised Western hardware systems which will never get sold to Nigeria or they are priced well beyond our reach. Little wonder we are nearly empty-handed. I dey really tire for Nigerians.

      The Chinese are using these and WZ 551 APCs in Mali and Sudan. Has Nigeria demonstrated more love for her troops than China which sends their troops out in “scrap metal” called APCs?

    • giles says:

      bros forget dat ting were u dey talk o.even d best brain fails,I don’t care if it’s scrap or not as long as it performs it’s job I am satisfied.

  6. Delavegas says:

    Kudos to the Airforce for this Chinese drones. The need for these machines can’t be over stated.

    While I congratulate the armed forces for this; I would still like to draw their attention to the much smaller and far cheaper UAVs that could be used by company sized troops or even platoons of Special Forces.

    Overwatch is very essential for troops on the ground and a bird’s eye view of the contact arena might be the tipping balance.

  7. ocelot2006 says:

    The unmanned aircraft has pylons for weapons (see the missiles attached). I never knew the military operates UCAVs. Very interesting. Anyway, it’s extremely imperative the military secures that crash site and retrieve the down bird.

  8. superboi79 says:

    This is a nice acquisition, we need to do more of such proactively. how much arms are these Drones capable of carrying on a single mission?

  9. rka says:

    It is normal for UCAVs to crash for a host of reasons, inclusing mecahanical/electrical. The US has lost a lot of drones in Afghanistan, just that you don’t get to hear of it. They are always listed in Air Forces Monthly including air force crashes world wide. You will be surprised at the number of crashes that occur every month.

    • rka says:

      *including mechanical

    • Are James says:

      Yes unmanned aircraft crash alot. These CH3s are the best/cheapest options against Boko Haram. The aircraft are cheaper, pilots can’t be beheaded when the craft a crash they and are mostly trained in offices which is a lot cheaper. You get low cost real time intelligence and immediate strike capabilities in same package at a fraction of the cost. You can even outsource pilots to China or Pakstan without having pangs of conscience over sovereignty.
      Finally when you have UAVs your security architecture is complete and you can have layers of authority levels per target value. It would be a good thing for the President to be authorizing some level of air strikes for instance.

      • rka says:

        Quite right.

        Even the attrition rate for run-of-the-mill fighters worldwide is quite high including continued crashes by Pakistani Mirages and F-7s. This is also the case with US F-16s, F-15s and others across the various services, although one has to take into account the number of aircraft in their inventory and number of training flights and sorties they carry out..

  10. Augustine says:

    Oga rka, NATO F-16 jet crashed even yesterday during multinational exercises, crashed while taking off inside airport into other aircraft and people, killed 10 injured 21 NATO multinational men. The advanced countries just know how to keep their dirty linens from unnecessary public display, they don’t drag their military reputation in the mud in the eyes of the world.


    • rka says:

      Oga Augustine, no make me laugh o! 🙂

      It’s true, they know how to make excuses and cover-up their flaws. I think the Base spokesman or someone else said the Greek pilot performed the wrong manoeuvre on take-off causing the F-16 to lose power and crash into French Mirages and not sure if Italian or spanish aircraft, killing the 2 Greek Pilots and i think 8 French Personnel.

    • Henry says:

      Oga Augustine, exactly my thoughts. That is how one “idiot” Nigerian, @leonijas,or what ever he goes by keeps embarrassing his pathetic low self-esteem self on a foreign military site.

      The Fool probably thinks his embarrassing the military.

  11. Oje says:

    This proves the Nigerian military is the only military in Africa and one of the few world wide that operates armed Drones. Of course with enough satellites in Space it should be easier for Nigeria than others who must rely on expensive commercial satellite imagery.

  12. jimmy says:

    This is very good news for Nigeria if it is the Ch3. Oga doziex had also seriously alluded to it and Oga Henry he always keeps the green white green flying bless him has done the same.

    • jimmy says:

      I also wanted to chip in one more possibilty although in most cases it is simply a case of Human error.I lived in the North for a while ;Bida Niger state,it is possible although unlikely in this case it could of been attacked by a bird of prey I.e. the vulture raptor birds that are local to that area,this has happened.
      Regardless imho this shows that the fg is really willing to spend the money neccesary to get the intel.

  13. Augustine says:

    My Ogas in the Beegs battalion, as I have always said before, Nigerian military hiding procurement of imported equipment is just a fruitless and undiplomatic effort. It’s only a matter of time before the public, the world, and the enemy get to know, once you deploy a platform or weapon, it’s no longer secret. New weapons give you element of surprise only once. Imagine we hid Alpha jet procurement hoping to surprise Charles Taylor everytime we fly them.

    • rka says:

      Never truer words said.

      It has always been to my annoyance the fruitless secrecy of procurement. Making it known can actually have the desired effect of preventing a particular hostile action.

      But alas, we continue to live in the past in such matters while other countries proudly annouce their procurement and actually put it out to tender beforehand.

      It is only when you develop something unique/extraordinary do you keep it a secret or give out limited information.

  14. asorockweb says:

    Military UAVs have a higher crash rate than other military aircraft.

    Military aircraft, especially combat aircraft, have a higher crash rate than civilian aircraft.

    Any country that has not lost UAVs due to crashes, does not fly UAVs.

    The NAF is flying more sorties than ever, so Nigerians have to get used to higher crash rates.

    I hope the NAF bought, or is buying a significant number of any UAVs that they chose to buy.

    Higher numbers, (24 and up,) will help justify the necessary investment in training, facilities and engineering that is required to operate a platform effectively platform.

    In reference to the picture, does anybody know what missiles are mounted on the hard-points?

  15. beegeagle says:


    “I really cant believe this. This must be the first African-owned armed drone photographed anywhere”, said Beegeagle.

    Not quite true: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Oul-glJyJV0/UxrcZGFcKrI/AAAAAAAATeo/VhL84_aYqiU/s1600/South+Africa+Seeker+400+with+Mokopa.jpg

    And a news article from the time: http://freebeacon.com/national-security/armed-and-dangerous/

    • Kola Adekola says:

      My Oga, this is a very important excerpt from the referenced article, it makes it clear just how far Nigeria has come:

      “However, Saudi Arabia lacks the infrastructure needed to operate drones. The systems require satellite communications that permit remote video and communications that allow drones to be piloted.”

      There is a macabre silver lining to our boko haram troubles. We are going to actually develop high tech capabilities much faster and with much more purpose.

  16. beegeagle says:

    Thank God we are finally heading somewhere after long years of buffoonery :-). Over the next 24 months, the moribund face of our long-deprived military shall become transformed


    16 additional Mi-24V/Mi-35P attack helicopters from Belarus/Ukraine

    6 units of new Mi-35M attack helics from Russia

    12 units of new Mi-171Sh Terminator assault helics from Russis

    3 additional units of Mi-17s from Ukraine

    25-40 units of JF17 Thunder multirole jets

    2 units of pre-owned Type 037-II missile craft

    2 stealth OPVs

    BigFoot MRAPs

    BTR-4 IFVs

    T72AV tanks

    T84 Oplot tanks

    * CH-3 armed drones

    * a consignment of combat jets (possibly Su-25 Frogfoot, a deal negotiated recently when the NSA and CAS travelled to Russia)


    – submarines and a miniaturised Type 071 LPD from China

    – modernised BMP-2 IFVs

    – BM-27 URAGAN 220mm MRLS

    – BM-30 SMERCH 300mm MRLS

    We are FINALLY building a modern and well-armed military. Who knows, we might actually be the first Africans to have carried out drone attacks. The slumbering giant is finally awakening..

    • giles says:

      Oga beeg sorry o abeg dat issue of we owning jf17 is it for real

    • Capt Tobias Wilcock says:

      Dear Oga Beegeagle, How do the Nigerian made IFV/APCs measure up, can they not be improved to be our main IFV of our military. Since we would buying them in large numbers. ( Igirigi & Proforce)

  17. beegeagle says:

    COMING…not yet delivered.

  18. Delavegas says:

    I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this but while we are all on the topic of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. There is a small group of drone hobbyists based out of Abuja. Even though they are mainly for civilian purposes; We would still enjoy your knowledge and feedback.

    Please join us in the discussion section at http://www.meetup.com/Naija_Drones/

    Drone usage includes more than just military purposes. Civilian usage such as aerial mapping, search and rescue, aerial photography, etc as well as important issues such as legislature, privacy concerns, NOTAMs, protected/restricted airspace for Nigerians users could be discussed.

    We need as much information and guidance as we could possibly get and the people on this forum are the best in terms of knowledge, expertise, etc.

    • Are James says:

      Good I would like to join.
      There is an idea I have been playing about concerning using drones for insecticide crop spraying and radio scanning of RFID crop tags.

      • Delavegas says:

        Agricultural drones can drastically reduce the cost of land surveying. The costs are very much cheaper than military drones and the one-time payment could easily pay for itself.

        It enhances precision agriculture with UAVs spraying crops with herbicides or pesticides, 2 or 3 feet above the plants thereby controlling down-wash and avoiding groundwater pollution and several other feats.

        Here is a Youtube video about an American farmer using UAV

  19. jimmy says:

    I almost wept looking @ the list. Sometimes I go back down memory lane do you it goes back to March 2010 that is almost five years come March it has been at times exhilarating ( NN CENTENARY) and sometimes Grim ( Mubi, BAGA) but through it all, The Idea that Nigeria my own lasgidi could possibly own armed drones , this is a game changer. Death coming from the skies shekau it will be the last thing you hear before your lungs and innards boil to a thousand degrees, it is only a matter of time thy days are numbered ashes to ashes dust to dust,
    By God’s grace you will not live to be an old man
    May dogs lap your blood in the streets of BORNO
    and may the vultures from as as far away as all the states
    you created mayhem in pick at your Bones till they are bleached by the Sun
    Amen .

  20. mcshegz says:

    Yes, we own and operate armed drones, it is exciting, and encouraging to see, even though pictures are under these circumstances. What i am even more certain about is that, a year or two down the line, Nigeria will start to reproduce these drones in their numbers, because that’s the only way this relevant force multiplier will be sustained, the private sector needs to continue to improve its capabilities in the aerospace sector; as we can see from the yansh of the fowl, nothing dey dier, the drone certainly didn’t crash because its of Chinese origin, neither will an American/Israeli drone guarantee a no crash operation, hence, expertise gained from Nigerian drones, i.e: gulma and amebo can be improved upon, both in size, range, and armaments, so as to truly hone our skills. Naija, ya head dey there, the skeptics are been wowed. #VictoryForNigeria.
    PS: do not blame DHQ for its secrecy, its tough fighting a psychological warfare, we are always re-tooling though, please continue to support; you do not need a reason to support your country, you just do, that’s a no brainier.

  21. Saleh says:

    Sad we have a downed drone but we now have confirmation there are armed drones in service

  22. Spirit says:

    Tonight, I will sleep better, knowing that some people are actually thinking and moving in the right direction in our military. Please don’t blame me for saying that as it seems to me as if the Nigerian military has come up with a way of killing our enemies by ‘tickling them to death’.

    I have always canvassed for the use of drones in this war against Boko Haram as;
    1) UAVs are relatively cheaper than manned ones, hence we can by dozens of such with the cost of one unit of a 5th Gen.
    2) Long endurance/loiter time over the AO/Forward edge of battle as against a manned aircraft.
    3) Low Visual/Radar signature compared to manned aircrafts
    4) Cost per unit hour of operation is negligible compared to manned crafts.
    5) Remote operations which guarantees the safety of the operator even though the platform is flying into danger/combat.
    6) Relative insulation from errors caused by combat fatigue, pulling Gs, fear, hunger (not a few pilots have experienced an overwhelming desire to pee after escaping a barrage of AAA/AAM or cannons. Not that I blame them when the heart is doing 120, what you are left with might be Gross Motor Skills and you may not even recognize the altimeter.
    7) No death to report, no widow/orphan to console. Imagine this crashed aircraft manned!

    I pray/beg that the NA/NAF whoever flies this to get then in squadrons and not in pairs as often the case.
    In as much as we don’t encourage out Drone pilots to be reckless with these birds (they don’t come cheap you know), we plead with the ‘wing commanders’ and ‘squadron leaders’ to please be patient with the ‘pilots’ of these new platforms as even the mighty USAF loose drones quite often as was the case in the much publicized crash of the RQ 170 in Iran. As at 212, the US has lost over 100 drones.

    I suggest the drones be used thus;

    1) Identify BH bases and station a high altitude drone to loiter over it, gather intel and report movement of large convoys in/out which usually precede attacks.
    2) Launch drones to track retreating BH to their hideouts for later onslaught by BM-30 Smerch or something above 100 mm made by a 350 year-old Swedish company named Bofors!
    3) Deploy to guard a friendly bases that BH might consider as High Priority Targets so as to give defenders ample warning time. Such UAVs must be Night-vision and FLIR enabled as BH will definitely attack such bases at night.
    3) Visit sudden/instant death on BH commanders anywhere they are just like the Aussies are doing to ISIL commanders right now.

    May God save Nigeria.

    • jimmy says:

      Sweetness. I am now convinced that the f.g is deadly serious (smiling grimly) T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

  23. ugobassey says:

    My Ogas when we dey abuse abeg make we do am softly. The US has given us 2 Frigates free. That should count for something now? Not to exonerate from this last arms fiasco but any friend no matter how low on the priority scale they rank are still friends.

    • rugged7 says:

      @ ugo bassey
      2 scrap metal ships made in 1950 with no weapons???
      Bros, a “friend” doesn’t watch another friend being mauled with a knife; while he has a pump action by his side.

  24. giles says:

    which kind frigate. dat is a naked CG patrol ship.wen u talk about friend it’s d Chinese. d US is to me a disappointment.

  25. ScouseNaija says:

    My ogas, seems some1 in our DEFSEC structure is actually applying wisdom on our behalf http://lindaikeji.blogspot.com/2015/01/journalist-claims-foreign-journalists.html

    • Kay says:

      Would be happy if either a missile from this would end Abu Shequack’s life or shall be captured alive and hanged like the bastard he is.

  26. beegeagle says:

    100% confirmed. This went down in Borno and it is an armed CH-3 drone FOR SURE. We even know where they are homeported.

  27. beegeagle says:

    100% SURE. This is an ARMED Chinese-built CH-3 UACV owned by the NAF. And it is not one or two units only…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s