The Nigerian Air Force Training Command. Where Combat Pilots Are Forged.

Nigerian Air Force has over the last two years purchased new training aircrafts for pilots.  Just recently the NAF inducted 10 Pakistani made Super Mushak into its fleet of trainer aircrafts.

December 2016. First batches of Super Mushak trainers from Pakistan arrives Nigeria.
Super Mushank is inducted into the NAF 401Flight Training School.
Super Mushank is inducted into the NAF 401Flight Training School.
MB-339 trainer sit in open hangers at the NAF 401 flight training school in Kaduna.
A weaponised L-39 aircraft behind a pilot training instructor at 401 flight training school, Katana .

Nigerian Air Force Combat Helicopter Training School.

The training school trains combat helicopter pilots for the Nigerian Air Force, which operates the most combat helicopter fleet in Sub Sahara Africa. The school is the first of its kind in West Africa, and has been equipped to provide advanced helicopter pilot training for pilots aspiring to become combat helicopter pilots.

Hundreds of pilots undergo extensive training at the International Aviation College in Ilorin,South West Nigeria. Here pilots learn the basics. Later they’ll progress through Formal Traiinf Unit, where they learn how to operate combat aircrafts.

An instructor pilot with a female student.
An instructor pilot demonstrates an aerial manoeuvre to his student.
Here class work is equally as important as flying.
Students fly at least once a day. It’s a good thing the class work and flying keeps them busy.

Winged pilots in a briefing room,

Ejector Seat Simulator at the Nigerian Air Force flying college in Kainji. The ESS has the capacity to stimulate a 10G experience, trading pilors to assess the need to eject quickly and safely.
Ejector Seat Simulator at the Nigerian Air Force flying college in Kainji. The ESS has the capacity to stimulate a 10G experience, trading pilors to assess the need to eject quickly and safely

Ejector Seat Simulator at the Nigerian Air Force flying college in Kainji. The ESS has the capacity to stimulate a 10G experience, trading pilors to assess the need to eject quickly and safely

MAINTENANCE

NAF Maintanance Officers are the unsong heroes of the NAF. More than just directing essential maintenance operations, they implement crucial aircraft inspections and deliver combat support for Nigerian airmen. From technical systems to economic factors, they play a critical role in the success of the Nigerian Air Force.

NAF aircraft maintanance officers work round the clock to ensure that everything is in perfect workjng other.

Mechs assigned to the 105th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron inspect the engine of an F-7N fighter at the aircraft maintenance hanger of the Tactical Air Command. The engine was removed due to a defective hydraulic line that forced the pilot to abort a mission.
Alpha Jet aircraft avionics technician work on an Alpha jet radar system.
Test bench for A-Jet engines.

That’s the longest screw I have ever seen. NAF aircraft maintanance unit working on an aircraft engine.
A winged pilot perform a seven-level inspection on the control valve of an aircraft engine

NAF Aircraft Maintenance weapons load crew load 22mm rockets on the L-39 trainer/ light attack aircraft.
NAF Ordnance crew loading 250 Ib bombs on an Alpha Jet.
NAF Ordnance crew loading 250 Ib bombs on an Alpha Jet.

OPINION.To stay relevant and up to date with emerging threats in the face of 4th Gen aircraft proliferation to our potential adversaries, the Nigerian Air Force needs an upgrade. Pilots must train for years and it costs the Nigerian government hundreds of thousands of dollars to train a single pilot before they have enough experience to fly fighter jets. The safety of our expensive pilots and mission success all hinge on the integrity of our aircrafts. We need more modern planes for our young pilots to fly.

As of this writing the Nigerian Air Force has 135 winged fighter pilots, the Nigerian Air Force must have enough aircrafts for these pilots to fly. It makes no economic sense to have more pilots than combat aircrafts.

The Alpha Jets have been around since the 80’s, the F-7N while fast is hopelessly outdated, they are not up to what we need to send against modern Air forces in the region.
The Alpha Jets that is the workhorse of the Nigerian Air Force have been around since the 1980’s, and the wear and tear is breaking them up to pieces. Four of Nigeria’s fleet of 10 Chengdu F-7N Airguard have have cracks under the aft fuselage tjat was dicovered during imspections, limiting the number of highspeed interceptor aircarfts the NAF can scramble to just six.

Given the role the Nigerian Air Force played in helping turning the tide of the war against Boko Haram one would think the Nigerian Air Force will pursue an aggressive policy of modernisation, sadly the reverse is the case.  The incoming Embrae Super Tucano cannot and should not be the backbone of the Nigerian Air Force. It lacks the protective amour to fly close air support missions.

At a price tag of a staggering  $600 million the Nigerian Air Force seemto lack strategic depths in planning. Between 2005 and 2017 Nigeria has spent a staggering $1.3 Billion USD on combat jets yet the Air Force lacks a descent 4th Generation fighter jet. The backbone and work horse of the Nigerian Air Force is less than 15 Dassault Donnier Alpha Jet trainer aircraft built in the 70’s.

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