The presence of French Mirage fighters in Chad was brought to light when a french fighter jet hit the wall of the airport during takeoff under unknown reasons. There was a post fire impact. The two occupants ejected safely. The navigator (NOSA) was injured to one leg.
There is at least a Squadron of the Dassault Mirage 2000D fighters based in Chad, taking part of Operation Barkhane, an anti-insurgent in the Sahel region. This means technically Chad has the most powerful Air Force in sub-sahara Africa. Unlike the Americans, France does not shy away from protecting her Protege. This commitment has been demonstrated before.
When Libya attacked Chad and seized territory during the Chad-Libya war in 1987, Libyan Tu-22s and Il-76 cargo planes acting as bombers struck several towns near the 16th parallel, in particular Faya-Largeau. The Il-76s dropped dozens of pallets of bombs on a palm grove near the town, killing several local people.
The French Air Force responded swiftlty. They restricted air traffic over Chad. No aerial traffic was allowed in an area that extended from the 16th parallel to the outskirts of the capital N’Djamena.
But the Libyan Air Force stubbornly wouldn’t budge. French troops fired a HAWK missile and shot down a Libyan Tu-22 bomber over N’Djamena. Two days later, an unknown aircraft flew over Chad toward the capital. It was flying at subsonic speed and not responding to radio calls.
A patrol of French Mirage F.1C fighters flew to intercept. The patrol leader identified the plane as an Il-76 identical to those that had bombed Faya-Largeau. The Mirages engaged. This was in 1987. Relations between France and Chad is stronger today than it has ever been.
French commitment to maintaning her assets around Nigerian northern periphery is unshakeable. For example, when a French Mirage 2000D fighters crashed in Niger in 2014, the French Air Force replaced the Mirage 2000 that crashed in Niger with four aircraft, bringing its fighter aircraft detachment in the country to full strength within weeks.
The new Mirage 2000, from Escadron de Chasse 1/33 ‘Navarre’, arrived at Base Aerienne 172 at N’Djamena International Airport in Chad on June 22, according to the French ministry of defence.
Also Rafale fighters that previously operated from Bamako during the French intervention in Mali never returned home, they have been moved to N’Djamena and remain there.
France also has two General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles flying from Niamey in Niger in support of Operation Serval. They began flying from Niamey on January 15 and are operated by Escadron de Drones 1/33 ‘Belfort’, which also flies the Harfang UAV over Mali. Various Gazelle, Puma and Tiger helicopters also support Operation Serval.
Suffice to say Chad has at its disposal one of the most advanced fleet of fighter jets in the world. No contest.
What assets does the Nigerian military have to counter such potential threats?
RAFALE 4+ G FIGHTER IN WEST AFRICA