The Air War: Intruders.

27 August, 2018

An ATR-42 maritime patrol plane from the 82 Air Maritime Group takes off from its base on an intelligence gathering mission near the Chadian border.

The NAF fields what is arguably the most sophisticated and extensive ISR platforms in Africa. The NAF operates a fleet of two ATR-42 Maritime Plane, four Super King 350i Airborne Warning and Surveillance aircraft, three Diamond radar planes and a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles, armed and unarmed.

These aircrafts are equipped with long-range radar and passive sensors capable of detecting air and surface contacts over large distances. They provide Nigeria with an immediately available airborne command and control (C2), air and maritime surveillance and battle-space management capability.

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An ATR-42 MPA taxes out of its aircraft shelter.
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An ATR-42 assigned to the 81 Air Maritime Group takes off in a routine ISR mission.
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Surprise Attack

27 August, 2018 1400 hours

Four Mig-29 fighters zoom into Nigerian airspace at supersonic speed.

A NAF ATR-42 surveillance plane detects what appears to be an aircraft flying at supersonic speed. Save for the F-7N, there are no supersonic aircraft in the NAF fleet. A quick check with ground countrol reveal there are no F-7N interceptors operating in the area. The pilots attempts to establish contact with the pilot of the unidentified aircraft.

Patrol aircraft : “Unknown aircraft at (location unknown), you are in Nigerian airspace. Identify.

Unidentified aircraft: Static noise.

Patrol plane: “You are in Nigerian airspace. If you do not identify or depart Nigerian airspace  we will launch interceptor aircraft!”

Unidentified aircraft: Static noise.

Then suddenly, what was thought to be a single aircraft morphed into four jets. Two aircrafts broke formation and headed West, the remaining maintained a steady course.The two MiGs aircraft seems to be headed straight for the surveilance plane.

Three F-7N fighters are scrambled to intercept the aircrafts.

It takes a good 30 minutes for mechanics and ground crew to have the jets ready for flight .


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While ground crew race against time to get the aircrafts ready,  pilots listen to mission briefing. 

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The look on the faces of these pilots says it all. They have never been in an air to air engagememt. They have been trained for air to ground missions.

Its begining to look like a suicide mission. These young pilots are under no illusion, they know some of them will never make it back.

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The heads up display of the invading Mig-29s show three F-7N fighters approaching fast. One of the Migs gets a lock and launches a missile. It misses.

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It didn’t take long for the high pitch missile lock warning alarm in the F-7N interceptors to go off. The single engine F-7Ni is a very maneuverable, the pilot punched afterburners and takes evasive measures. Lucky he is.

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Now the F-7Ns are on high alert. The F-7Ns counter attack.  Roaring towards them at Mach 1.2.


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One of the Mig pilots using a helmet-mounted sight and IRST sets his eyes on the F-7Ns, now just seconds away. This time he selects a pair of R-77 medium range air to air missile. The missiles find their mark. The F-7N is instantly vaporized

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An F-7N using its superior speed closes in and engages the MiGs with 30mm cannons.

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One F-7N gets a lock and fires a PL-9 air to air missile.

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The Mig-29 drops flares and makes a hard turn in a barrel roll. Unable to track it the missile fly past, losing its ock in the process.

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Another F-7N is blown to smithereens by a R-60 medium range air to air missile, sending another young Nigerian careening to the ground in flames. No chutes deployed .

The last pilot panics, punches afterburners and flee.  Less than 10 minutes after the intruders are engaged, two F-7Ns are effortlessly shot down, with two pilots killed.





4 Replies to “The Air War: Intruders.”

  1. Hahaha,
    It was a common slogan by gladiators that used to fight (do I say ‘Die’?) for the viewing pleasure of Ceasar some 2000 years ago. The young men were often asked to fight with much stronger and better armed foes, asked to fight lions with bare hands etc. Just to please ceased and his guests right inside the Colloseum in Rome. They knew they would not come out of the Arena alive, hence the mode of greeting;
    “Great ceasar, we that are about to die salute you”

    My heart bleeds for our flyboys as I am very certain that with those toys they call jet fighters, they would not last 30 mins in the air when the day comes.Yet, they must be patriotic, enter the Arena, bringing knives to a gunfight.
    God bless Nigeria.

    Liked by 1 person

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