These Caucasian males, believed by yours truly to be South Africans, are apparently helping out with phasing in the newly acquired Gazelle helicopters of the Nigerian Air Force which came into service around February 2015.

Such are the exigencies of these times which we are living through as Nigerians. As a result of the fact that these airframes had to be deployed operationally as soon as they were delivered to the NAF, Nigerian pilots are taking their lessons on the aircraft type right there in the field.

Prior to their delivery, the NAF did not own or operate any Gazelle helicopters. Since then, Nigerian pilots have been seen flying these nimble copters during President Jonathan’s visit to Baga, Mubi and Maiduguri late in February 2015



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. Henry says:

    Oga beeg, any word yet on numbers acquired?

  2. beegeagle says:

    Not yet. But I have seen this aloft in videos from MDGR, Konduga and Baga. There are communities which are 300 miles apart inside Borno alone, eg Biu and Malam Fatori/Abadam/Bisagana. I doubt that those were moved around.

    Let us go for a cool eighteen Gazelles which have FLIR pods and can carry .50 cal HMGs and 57mm rocket pods. Armed scout helics to operate behind the MiL attack and assault helics and serve as first call assets for hot pursuit.

    • Henry says:

      18….. I’m talking 24. Remember outside the N.E, we still have flash points in the North-Central (taraba, plateau, nassarawa), the Niger-delta and parts of the South-East.

      They are cheap, low-maintenance, nimble Helicopters.

      I agree with all you posted, similarly as Quick response asset in support of SOF troops, or used in the same manner as KDF MD 500’s.

      Brilliant buy.

      A photo of this aircraft in flight would be terrific.

      • Are James says:

        The engine looks very maintainable. Some European companies are offering for refurbished models for $600k, add weapons systems and night fighting gear and you can have a combat version for less than $2.5m.

  3. Saleh says:

    they are for NA aviation

  4. engineerboat says:

    What so many people failed to realize at this point in time is that,
    This are new equipment,
    No time for off-war training, and because of the urgency and exigency, hence the training on their use at the battle front.

    Nigerians wake up, dont allow all this, NEVER meant well-for-Nigeria propaganda to kill the morals of our Soldiers.

    • Are James says:

      The Chief of Army Staff alerted months ago; “..We shall be training with the new equipment we are acquiring …” and somehow everybody just assumed that meant that troops would be rotated backwards in batches from the front into training and back to the front. Apparently there was always a better way.

    • jimmy says:

      I believe this is a game changer in its own right now you see it now you don’t.
      The role of the Gazelle is completely different from the Mils so comparing them is like apples (Sure they both can extremely deadly) but based on how we are using the gazelle to me it’s the best way ISR.

  5. Augustine says:

    The white man turning his back to camera is a technician for maintenance and repair of the Gazelle helicopters, not likely a pilot at all. He wears a tool belt on his waist, and that is more like an electrician’s tool belt style of pouch for wire cutter snips, mini volt meter, screwdrivers, 100 watt soldering iron, pliers, etc

    As far as I am able to see, a white man aircraft electrician for service and maintenance.

  6. Augustine says:

    There are videos showing Gazelle in action for Nigeria, between 1:20 minute and 1:30 minute, sorry it’s a video already posted before, but it shows the Gazelle armed with pintle mounted machine gun. Seems to be doing more of recce and strikes on soft targets in zones where there is no threat of enemy anti-aircraft guns that can down a whole Alpha jet.

  7. airsupport says:

    I doubt these Gazelles belong to the Nigerian military. If a new helicopter is being inducted into the airforce, it would be normal for there two be one or two training pilots from the manufacturer. The Gazelle is also a relatively simple helicopter to fly, so i don’t see the need for a full foreign crew complement. NAF and NN have inducted more complicated machines into service with less hulabaloo. The NAF AW101 is fully NAF crewed, now that’s a bug complex helo.
    An important point to note: Aerospatiale stopped making Gazelles in 1996, this is 2015.
    My take is that the gazelles belong to the PMCs to supplement their ops.

  8. airsupport says:

    Also I don’t know why NAF isn’t improving on the armament of the A109 LUHs. The only improvement i saw was a machine gun mount for a door gunner recently. Probably added around the same time the Pumas were upgraded.
    The A109 LUHs are capable of carrying up to 8 ATGMs or 2 rocket pods

  9. beegeagle says:


    IF we weaponise the A109 LUH, it can do the same job effectively,it is more modern and twin engined.what is the difference between a gazelle and Bo 105?

  10. airsupport says:

    The gazelle is single engined while the 105 is twin engined. I think the gazelle is a bit faster, but the 105 is bigger. I just watched a video of an Iraqi EC635 walloping some ISIS technicals. Technology has really moved ahead, Nigerian army aviation needs to really move ahead. The ATR42MPAs have really proved themselves in the NE

  11. beegeagle says:

    Haba Air Support, abeg na. Tell, don’t just only doubt. Show videos, photos instead of saying ‘nay’ into a vacuum. Lead us to the light

    My email address

    Why was it flown by Nigerian pilots when the C-in-C visited MDGR? Why were they involved, alongside weaponised Puma helics, in calibration exercises at Owode near Lagos in February?

    When these were first spotted at Lagos by a Beegeagle’s Blogger, they were red-blue-white trimmings on them, suggesting that they were acquired from France. Do France sell equipment to PMCs?

  12. beegeagle says:

    MuBanks, did you gimme a fake email address? I cant reach you o

    MCUsman, I have mailed you. Let us see the role played by MOPOL in this war.

  13. beegeagle says:


    Sorry brother,

    I made a typo with the initial email I sent to you. I’ve emailed you directly, from my personal email.

    So are the F7 keys setting any action in the North East? All we hear is alpha jets going on bombing raids and I can’t help but wonder why this is. I pray they aren’t grounded;, in terms of armaments shoes the F7 vary a heavier payload than the alpha?

    Nice one

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