21 December, 2015

As a strong believer in the potential for South Africa-Nigeria defence collaboration, I thought I should intervene (to clear the air on certain assumptions which appear to have gained currency among Nigerian watchers of defence & security developments).

The Super Hind attack helicopter is a Paramount asset, and all Hind helicopters upgraded to such standards have to go through Paramount HQ in South Africa. I can assure your readers that Paramount has not received any such order from Nigeria.

I suspect that the confusion arises from three historical reasons, laid out below and in chronological order:

1)ATE of South Africa initially upgraded 34 Algerian Mi-24 helicopters to Super Hind Mk. III in South Africa; the company experienced financial difficulties which resulted in an agreement with the Ukrainian firm, AVIAKON, for future upgrades;

2) Whilst ATE was under receivership, Azerbaijan decided to upgrade her Hind helicopters and this was done in Ukraine for 2 reasons: 

a) ATE was under a financial cloud;

b) Ukraine had supplied the original ten Azeri Hind helicopters and supplies; the Azeris decided to save money by sticking with the already supplied Ukrainian Bar’yer ATGM in place of DENEL’s Ingwe or Spike-ER offered as standard on the Super Hind Mk.III;  hence the Azeri Hinds are officially designated Mi-24G, with the G standing for ‘Gele’ or night in Azeri and the Super Hind name not used eventhough it’s effectively a Super Hind Mk.IV with a slightly less sophisticated cockpit and has standard intake filters; and 

3) Algeria decided to upgrade the Argos 550 sensor turret with the newer, cheaper and smaller equivalents that have emerged over the past few years like the Argos II HDT (the 550’s successor) and the IPZ TITAN 410 SD; performed by AVIAKON in Ukraine. 

In conclusion, since Paramount rescued ATE by buying it, the Super Hind has been upgraded to Mk.5, putting it at par with the South African-made Rooivalk and other similar modern attack helicopters in terms of avionics, weapons, sensors, combat radius etc.

Additionally, all work is now done in South Africa,in collaboration with Russia’s Yakovlev Design Bureau. 

The only way to acquire Super Hind Mk.III and the unofficial Mk.IV is through second-hand variants either from Algeria or Azerbaijan. Even then, Paramount would have to be involved. With Algeria looking to have its entire attack helicopter capability upgraded to Super Hind Mk.5 and Mi-28, perhaps a deal is in the offing?

Concerning the purportedly impending sale of Super Hind attack helicopters to Nigeria by Ukraine, I sincerely hope Nigeria is not being taken for a ride, yet again.

Nothing stops your military procurement officials shipping your Hind helicopters to South Africa for the necessary upgrades to the Super Hind Mk.5 or forcing the Paramount Group to perform the work in Nigeria.

After all, they (Paramount Group) are already working on your Gazelle helicopters as the largest Gazelle contractor outside France.


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. Are James says:

    The MOD needs a full procurement strategy study and document for the FG to decide on the sourcing of these MI 24 SUPERHIND MKIII/V. First of all, there are no more ‘political’ issues with S.Africa, secondly Paramount/ATE is already in bed with the Yakovlev Bureau (the Russians) so there is the added advantage of genuineness and pace.
    More importantly, the upgrade can be a project targeting all machines currently in inventory and hence we can get scale economics by negotiating properly. To be honest, for anything MI series, the closeevent are to Russia in terms of support, the better.

  2. Obix says:

    Big thanks to him for clearing up thinghs!

  3. saleh says:

    Technically does it mean there isn’t any current order in the pipeline or attention have been shifted to atak 129.

  4. I certainly hope Nigeria isint being taken for a ride for the umpteenth time. Those in charge of procurement must be on top of their game to save us time, money and future maintenance and spare parts related wahala.

    It’s best to get from source and a country like ours should nt be dealing through middle men except it’s absolutely necessary.

  5. giles says:

    JESUS!!! DIS is serious.so no RSA upgraded hind. wot of the pix of nigerian engineers helping in assembling a hind chopper…

    and I don’t understand wot he meant by” After all, they (Paramount Group) are already working on your Gazelle helicopters as the largest Gazelle contractor outside France.”

  6. jimmy says:

    I think the picture just got muddled. One has to wait till 2016 to understand what it is Nigeria is purchasing.

  7. Ola says:

    In my humble opinion, the SA defence industries are generally good at tweaking up already existing platforms. We see how the Super Puma has been tweaked and developed into Rooivalk, how the Olifant has been built on Centurion Mk3 (WWII era tank) and how the Finnish Patria IFV has been designed into the Badger. For this reason, I support the idea of upgrading all exisiting Mil Mi-24 helicopters, the upgrades should be done in Nigeria. Nevetheless, if Nigeria wants to do a new acquisition, I would advocate for Nigeria directly buying new Mil Mi-35M directly from Russia. There is no point in going somewhere to buy something second hand and shipping it to another place to be tweaked up. You will lose a lot of money in the process, it may even end up being more expensive than new acquisitions per unit price especially as the capacity to upgrade it is not local.

    • Ola says:

      I think Nigeria should buy a dozen new Ka-52, upgrade the existing Mil Mi-24 locally in cooperation with the South Africans and rather spend more money buying potent fighter jets. It is a shame that Nigeria does not have a fighter jet that can fly combat sorties non-stop from the South to the North, nor a jet that has a decent enough pay load to do an impactful strike in a single mission. Decision makers for the armed forces of Nigeria need to have a rethink!

  8. Augustine says:

    The more you look the less you see is the favorite game played by Nigerian ministry of defence from 1985-2015 the 30 years of darkness that wrecked Nigerian military arsenal/inventory for Boko Haram to humiliate us on homesoil last year.

    FG + NAF + MoD secrecy in military procurement is very BAD for Nigeria, public money spent without informing the public in detail. Nigeria is a DEMOCRACY not a dictatorship.

    Later now they will say defence sector money is missing….. A LOOTER CONTINUA…..

    • Augustine says:

      You may never be told what specifications of Mi-24/35 Hind helicopters Nigeria has and how many numbers exactly . Super Hind, Basic Hind, Extra Hind, Hind Plus, Mk II or Mk IIIIII….all because of the deception game called secrecy, as if ministry of defence is buying Nuclear warhead intercontinental ballistic missiles for Nigeria. Nation of deception and corruption.

  9. jimmy says:

    On Second thoughts :
    For Nigeria to get it right i honestly would like to see Nigeria to do it the right way:
    If Nigeria is going to upgrade , do it in Russia there honestly is no need to do it in S’Africa, This should not be taken as BASHING S’africa ,Financially it just makes common sense buy the mi 24/ mi35 in Russia pay more for the upgrades in Russia and ship the Helios home, there is HONESTLY no need to ship the Helios to S’AFRICA unless someone is trying to steal money
    NAF 260 & Naf 261 were upgraded but this time around the upgrading should be done in the Mother country( Russia) anything else is Stealing.

  10. Roscoe says:

    The SAGA of secret defense procurements continue!

  11. jimmy says:

    Un related but of extreme concern to Nigeria
    To the President of Nigeria, the Minister of Agriculture, the Nigerian Navy, the Head of Nigerian Customs ( Col Ali ( rtd).
    It is not in Nigeria’s interests to allow a certain group of Individuals to keep making Nigeria 100% food insufficient, PMB went to KEBBI state to tout the beginning of Rice Production in Nigeria if the Former Governor of KEBBI STATE is undermining Nigeria’ drive towards food sufficiency by deliberately crashing the price of a staple of Nigerian food, the question them becomes whose interests SECURITY WISE is he and the rest of his ilk working for?
    I have singled him out because KEBBI is very important/ strategic to Rice production in Nigeria( the big picture is Agriculture) why on earth would a former Governor of this strategic state be involved in such a mess is anybody’s guess.
    To the CNS Nigerian Navy:
    While it is not a crime for say 11 ships to stay 100 nautical miles outside Nigerian naval waters , it is a security risk, one cannot over react about an article in any Newspaper , coupled with the fact that this incident happened not on your watch, these type of incidents hopefully will NOT happen on your watch, it is believed and I personally think you were chosen because of your love/patriotic duty for Nigeria and on Merit only I pray that if 11 ships are loitering just outside Nigeria’s 200 MILE EEZ ZONE @ least two Naval Warships should be sent to board and seize.
    I keep saying this ” No one can love Nigeria more than Nigerians” and No one can harm Nigeria more than Nigerians .
    God BLESS Nigeria

    • Augustine says:

      Oga jimmy it’s either Nigeria kills corruption or else corruption will kill Nigeria. Too many leakages, billion dollar rice import mago mago wuru wuru, a little savings from that leakage could have helped improve national security and defense, even if it is spent on just DSS and Police intelligence capacity building.

    • Are James says:

      Kebbi state only?.

      Let me tell you about Bayelsa State and rice since we are on this food security thing.
      Cluelessness is Cluelessness.

      In Bayelsa Southern Ijaw, there is a 30-something year old integrated rice project that was the pride of Nigeria. That one has died. So many champion governor-politicians of Nigeria Delta affairs did not even remember it the way the Melford Okilos and Diette Spiff did. Indeed that area of Bayelsa, tropical rain forest interspersed by hundreds of criss crossing fresh water rivers which is about 45min by chopper from PH can feed the whole of West Africa and provide export commodities of equivalent value to what we were making from crude oil.
      On rice alone, the same story in Lagos in the Epe area being comprehensively mis-managed by the Lagos state government.

      So the story is in the last 16years was we had some empty guys as President and criticize me if you want but as at April, 2015, some of the ships entering Apapa port in Nigeria were carrying millions of tonnes of RICE and ….PALM OIL of all commodities for Nigeria to be importing.

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