If you want something done slowly, expensively, and over budget, you go to the Nigerians. While Nigeria is the economic and energy superpower with a GDP of $1 trillion (ppp) and 40 billion barrels in oil reserve, it also has one hell of a dangerous, disgraceful and diabolical airforce.
This is the aircraft that defends 200 million Nigerians and 937,000 sqr kilometres of territory. In defining a diabolical airforce we take into account the following :
Being extremely dangerous
and hopelessly obsolete
Grab your popcorn, and prepare to get pissed, as you read about the obsolete machines they want young Nigerians to fly to war to defend our airspace.
Take an aircraft thats so dangerous, that statistically it is more likely than not, to crash, and arm it with missiles, you have a recipe for disaster. In one example, in January 2012 at 9 am, a missile was accidentally fired from an airforce jet on routine maintenance at the Airforce mechanic hangar in Port Harcourt, hitting an uncompleted building three kilometres away from the scene, sending panic-stricken residents fleeing for their dear lives.
That same year it kills two a commanding officers when it crashed on a training mission.
….and there you have the Chengdu F-7Ni Airguard. The guardian of the sky.
The F-7N is a Chinese clone of the ex Soviet MiG-21. The MiG-21 was built in the mid 50’s, barely five years after the Second World War. Yet 60 years later, this 1950 designed aircraft, replacing the Jaguar fighter jet as the best tactical fighter in the Nigerian airforce. And the Jaguars? it only exists in the form of museum pieces, standing in the cold in some village nearby.
The F-7N was acquired in 2005 as a stop-gap measure while the airforce searched for a suitable fighter to replace the Jaguar fighter jets and the MiG-21 as Nigeria’s primary frontline fighter jets.
Nigeria must have been swimming in a ridiculous amount of cash in the beginning of the decade, so much so that the government threw vast resources, spending $360 million on 15 aircrafts, that were at best mediocre, and which played an important part, in teaching the world that Nigeria does not take her national defense seriously.
Its been 26 years since the Jaguars were locked up in some Warehouse after a spat with BAE, 13 years since the MiG -21 was retired.
In that 13 years Nigeria has spent nearly $22 billion cumulatively, yet despite the up tempo of the Nigerian airforce in nearly a decade the nation is still unable or unwilling to take the defense of the nations airspace and strategic national assets seriously. Last week the government spent $500 million for 12 turboprop aeroplanes. Before that it was the Super Mushank trainer aircrafts. Before that it was two VIP Helicopters.
When it comes to lack of maintenance nobody does it better than Nigeria, and from the look of things Nigeria will not give up that title easily without a fight. Here we see an entire squadron of Jaguar B fighter jets left to rot out in the open.
It is irresponsible and borders on criminal the amount of money spent on junk while the airforce is stretched near breaking point carry out operations on multiple fronts.