Africa’s largest land army should not in anyway field weapons associated with rebel militias than national armies. More so given the nature of the assymetric battlefield, improvised explosive devices are a mainstay. It’s a no brainer amoured vehicles should be used during operstions as they provide protection for troops against opposing fire as well as ballistic threats and roadside bombs.
The Nigerian army is aquiring amoured vehicles, but they are not just in sufficient enough numbers, and are mostly assigned to special forces and commando units. Toyota Hillux trucks still hold sway with Nigerian army regular infantry. The whole ground campaign seems to have been made possible by Hilux landcruisers anyways, so why not get some fire power mileage out of it.
MRAPS are expensive, slow, consumes a heck of a lot of fuel and sometimes cannot navigate tight terrain. Meanwhile soldiers have to do is grab a Toyota 4×4 , strap on some military hardware and zoom off to the frontlines. However these “technicals” are not been optimized to its full potential by the Nigerian army relative to the other belligerents in the decade long war counter-insurgency operations Boko Haram.
“Technicals” have been adopted by Boko Haram and has proven to be very effective against any infantry, as Nigerian soldier who often find themselves outgunned by Boko Haram fighters can attest.
CAMEROON & TCHAD
Same can be said for the Chadian and Cameroonian army whose technicals are retrofited with 30mm calibre cannons for ground assault. Against this type of weapon hiding behind trees, concrete slabs or the use of body armour cannot save you.
Nigeria has a lot of heavy weaponry that fits perfectly in the bed of the pickup truck but seldom uses it. The anti-aircraft cannon and RECOILESS rifles are some of them. The high rate of fire of the ZSU-23-2 for instance can lay down enough suppression fire to keep the enemies head down and moral high whilst they wait for Alpha jets or F-7Ni fighters to drop their ordnance. It’s cost effective against Boko Haram drones and can provide direct and indirect fire.
The Nigerian army uses DShKM or M2 browning .50 calibre machine gun on its “technicals”, no surprise they are constantly outgunned by the enemy with comparative trucks without air support.
The weapon with the biggest punch of Nigerian army is the ZSU-23-4 Shika. It packs a serious punch and have a very high rate of fire, but too few in numbers to make much of a stretagic difference. Until the Nigerian army can field Infantry Fighting Vehicles and APC destroyers in sufficient enough numbers for standardisation, the Nigerian army should make the ZSU-23-2 auto cannon the standard equipment for ground troops on gun trucks.