The Royal Air Force is phasing out its fleet of 40 year old Tornado fighter jets as the Island nation plan to use the Eurofighter Typhoons and Lockheeds F-35 to absorb missions flown by the Tornadoes.
Britannia has a large number of airframes left in storage in a variety of conditions. Now, Nigeria’s effort to acquire phased out Israeli Cobra attack helicopters was torpedoed by the U.S because the Cobra is essentially an American made aircraft. The Tornado was borne out of a tri-national cooperation between Germany, Italy and Britannia. Nigeria’s relations with Britannia is historic, we are after all a Common Wealth member state.
Its such a shame that these retired aircrafts will be a very valuable source of spare parts to the Lufthwaffe. But it doesn’t have to be that way. All Nigeria has to do is take the first official step to purchasing used fighter jets from the Royal Air Force. To know if the request will be consideted or not, Abuja has to submit formal expression of interest to London.
Lacking in any credible air defense network, Nigeria needs an interim, high speed fighter to supplement its fleet of less than ten F-7Ni as high speed interceptors, as nobody knows if the JF-17 aquisition deal gas been scuttled or not.
The Tornado is a formidable fighter that suites Nigeria air defence needs.
The Panavia Tornado was developed jointly by the UK, Germany and Italy to primarily fly low and fast, avoiding Soviet air defences. It was even much later that its bombing capacity was developed. This is what you want as a high speed interceptor.
This versatile aircraft can carry out a variety of missions, depending of course on the infrastructure on ground.
The British use the Tornado to intercept Russian bombers.
Can be equipped with Reconnaissance Airborne Pods, a sensor that is capable of taking highly detailed images day or night. Useful in COIN roles.
Think about the Alpha Jet on steroids. Its their utility in ground attack roles has been proven in Iraq.