Where the Nigerian Military gets it RIGHT !!

ROTARY WING AIRCRAFT

The NAF fixed wing strike fleet is a double tragedy. The airframes are hopelessly obsolete, and the numbers in service are beyond ridiculous. Ten Alpha Jet trainers and five F-7Ni fighter/interceptors constitute %100 of the NAF strike fleet. Its most advanced combat aircraft, the F-7Ni is a 1950 design, basically a Chinese knockoff of the Mig-21.

Where the NAF fixed wing airframes have atrophied over the years with no end in sight, its rotary wing assets have blossomed over the years, to the point Nigeria now fields one of the continent’s most potent helicopter fleet, with the second biggest number of military grade helicopters in sub sahara Africa and the largest fleet of attack helicopters in Sub Sahara Africa…..and the NAF is midway through %60 of its acquisition program, with more deliveries expected in the coming months.

Helicopters play an integral role in Nigeria’s air campaign against Boko Haram because of their versatility. They enable troops to carry out a wide range of operations ranging from reconnaissance to casualty evacuations, close air support and insertion into enemy territory.

It’s fleet of MI-35 attack helicopters can best be described as an amoured personnel carrier with wings. The MI-35 helicopter can carry a complement of 12 fully armed troops for insertion while on a strike mission.

Let’s take a peak at what makes the rotary arm of the NAF such a lethal force.

ATTACK FLEET

The Nigerian Air Force is in the middle of a major fleet recapitalization program that includes the expansion of its combat helicopters fleet and is looking to weaponize its fleet of utility helicopters.

The “Hind” helicopters (Mi-35& Mi-24) in combination with weaponized utility helicopters are planned to be the main combat force of the Nigerian Air Force in years to come.

MI-35M HELICOPTER GUNSHIP

In a hypothetical war scenario between Nigeria and a regional adversary, the enemy’s most vital early warning radar stations will suddenly go off air in a surprise attack.

They will be destroyed in a hailstorm of rockets, missiles and heavy machine gun fire. All of which will come from an unseen swarm of ground hugging MI-35 helicopter gunships.

The Mi-35M is probably one of the most sophisticated peace of equipment in Africa available to frontline troops. It is capable of carrying out complex missions at anytime of the day in simple and adverse weather conditons.

Built by the Russians, the MI-35M is the fastest helicopter in the world with a top speed of 335 km/h.

2019-08-30 23.29.52
In April 2018 Nigeria took delivery of the second batch of Mi-35M helicopter gunship from Russia. 
2019-08-30 23.30.42
A combined team of Airforce personnel and Russian technicians were also on hand to assist in offloading the partially assembled new helicopters, some parts of which came in crates.
2019-08-30 23.30.13
In April 2018 Nigeria took delivery of the second batch of Mi-35M helicopter gunship from Russia.
c-ks518wsaapnu8.jpg
A fully assembled MI-35M helicopter gunship on display during the induction ceremony.
20190819_220730
Two Mi-35M helicopter gunship deployed to the northeast.

Designed to hunt and destroy tanks, the MI-35M has significantly improved the army’s operational capability. It is the first and only helicopter in the NAF that has all weather day and night capability. It can detect and classify and priotize up to 256 potential targets in a matter of seconds.

20190819_220921
The Mi-35M carry out complex operations day or night in any weather condition.
2019-08-30 23.29.21
The Mi-35M can carry out complex operations day or night in any weather condition.
2017-11-02-23-09-03.png
The Mi-35M can carry out complex operations day or night in any weather condition.
20190821_143306
Mi-35M cockpit with adaptive lighting and infra-red thermal imaging system.
20190821_143321
Mi-35M cockpit with adaptive lighting and infra-red thermal imaging system.

The Mi-35 helicopter is a field commanders best asset. It’s mobile. It can pop up from behind trees, It can move out from the side of a hill laterally and do damage that is probably beyond the enemy’s comprehension. There is no helicopter on the continent that is quite so devastatingly armed.

It features a chin mounted turret with twin barrel Gsh-23V 23mm cannon that can serve over 4,000 rounds a minute.

2017-11-02-16-14-05.png
Rotary twin barrel Gsh-23V 23mm cannon of the Mi-35M
20190820_154815
Quad-barrel 30mm cannon of the Mi-35M
20190819_221940
Quad-barrel 30mm cannon of the Mi-35M

The stub wings can carry a range of weapons system including anti-tank missiles, rocket pods/gun pods, or conformal fuel tanks.

The helicopter can be armed with up to eight 9М114 or 9M120 Ataka-V SACLOS radio guided anti-tank missiles, up to 80 ‘S-8’ 80mm unguided rockets and 20 ‘S-13’ type 122mm unguided aircraft rockets and 50 to 500 kilograms of bombs and incendiary warheads.

2019-08-30 23.54.04
Freshly delivered MI-35M and its panoply in display during its induction ceremony.
2019-08-30 23.54.45
Freshly delivered MI-35M and its panoply in display during its induction ceremony.
2017-11-02-12-16-41.png
An Mi-35M strapped with 500kg bomb on its stubby wing.
2017-09-17-21-37-11.png
An Mi-35M strapped with 500kg bomb on its stubby wing.
20190820_154915
An Mi-35M strapped with four 500kg bomb on stubby wings
20190820_004100
Weapons loadout crew preparing to install 60mm rockets and anti-tank missiles.
20190819_221230
Weapons loadout crew preparing to install 60mm rockets and anti-tank missiles.
20190819_223924
Weapons loadout crew preparing to install 60mm rockets and anti-tank missiles.
20190819_223403
9M120 Ataka-V SACLOS radio guided anti-tank missiles.
2017-11-02-15-59-58.png
9M120 Ataka-V SACLOS radio guided anti-tank missiles,
Screenshot_20190821-124102_Gallery
9M120 Ataka-V SACLOS radio guided anti-tank missiles,
Screenshot_20190821-124118_Gallery
9M120 Ataka-V SACLOS radio guided anti-tank missiles,

COUNTER MEASURE DEVICES

For defense it features a chaff and flare dispensation system. This is a countermeasure device. Whenever a missile is launched the pilot deploys flare and chaff, which has IR signature to break the lock from incoming missiles.

20190821_124357
Chaff and flare dispensation system of the Mi-35M helicopter.
Screenshot_20190821-124009_Gallery
Mi-35M deploys chaff and flare during a demonstation exercise. 
20190821_121618
These RWU antennas are used to detect radar signals coming towards it.
AVIONICS

Besides night vision googles and adaptive lights, the MI-35 features a navigation and electronics indicator complex, consisting of an observation sight complex with a thermal guidance channel and laser range finder.

20190821_154836

20190821_143334

20190821_143207

MI-24 (P &V variant)

Like the more advanced version, the MI-24 attack helicopter is intended for the destruction of armed vehicle, low speed air targets, enemy manpower, fire support of Nigerian troops, delivery of tactical troops etc. A radar warning system, IR hammer, chaff flare dispenser are also installed on the helicopter.

Depending on the mission profile the helicopter has more than ten armament versions. Standard armament includes a fixed gun unit with a two barrell 30mm machine gun, grenade launchers, Asturn V anti-tank missiles, 57mm rockets, 80mm rockets with different types of warheads.

20190820_002800
A pair of Mi-24 helicopters deployed for combat operations. 
20190820_154657-1
Mi-24V helicopter gunship. The “V” variant is denoted by its rotary cannon.

20190819_223228

20190819_223314
Mi-24P helicopter gunship. The “P” variant is denoted by its side mounted cannon.
20190820_154511
Mi-24V helicopter gunship. The “V” variant is denoted by its rotary cannon.
2019-08-30 23.32.45
Mi-24 122mm unguided aircraft rocket pods on display at the 105 Special Operations Group in Port Hacourt.
2019-08-30 23.33.07
Mi-24 122mm unguided aircraft rocket pods on display at the 105 Special Operations Group in Port Hacourt.

 

AW109 Power attack helicopter

The Nigerian Air Force put big hopes on this reconnaissance-strike helicopter, which represents the further development of Nigeria’s rotary strike fleet.

Its the most advanced member of Augusta Westland family, based on a commercial off-the-shelf platform with military-specific modifications and is an operationally proven, affordable option Nigeria.

This was brought about by Nigeria’s search for a rapidly-deployable, multi-role light helicopter that “can be rapidly deployed in Hercules C-130s, and can insert, extract and provide fire support for small teams of NAF Special Forces undertaking tasks ranging from tactical observation through to counter-terrorism missions, or hostage recovery

20190820_003706
Freshly delivered AW109 power attack helicopter.
20190820_003553
Freshly delivered AW109 power attack helicopter.
president-buhari-inducts-two-new-attack-helicopters-for-nigerian-air-force-696x463
Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Obasanjo is given a tour of the new helicopters during the unveiling ceremony.

Screenshot_20190820-001611_Video Player

20190820_155240
Unveiling ceremony of the Augusta power helicopter.
20190820_155212
The AW109 features a 60mm rockets.
20190820_155132
Unveiling ceremony of the Augusta power helicopter.
Screenshot_20190820-150804_YouTube
Unveiling ceremony of the Augusta power helicopter.

MI-17sh Multi-role Helicopter

The Mil Mi-17 helicopter perform a range of tasks on the battlefield including reconnaissance, command and control, transportation of Special Forces troops for tactical insertion behind enemy line and materials, evacuation and the provision of force protection.

Armament includes 50 to 500 kilogram bombs, 60mm rockets on hydra rocket pods and machine gun.

20190820_154316

20190820_154211

Screenshot_20190820-153825_YouTube

2017-11-02-20-30-09.png

2017-11-02-20-29-15.png

 

Bell 412 Utility Helicopter

The Bell 412 helicopter is used by the NAF for offshore logistics support, maritime and coastal surveillance, emergency medical services and search and rescue.

20190820_003153
The Bell 412 helicopter.
2019-08-31 00.36.03.png
The Bell 412 helicopter.

20190820_003226

20190820_003128

In 2017 engineers at the Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna carried out installation of the BO-205 gun on the Bell 412 helicopters.

37808107_2140883982791208_5689445737088155648_n

The helicopter is fitted with a nose mounted Electro Optical Device (EOD) enabling it to detect targets by day and night at significant range. Consequently the Bell 412 is currently employed in Nigeria’s northeast.

2019-08-31 00.36.33.png
The Bell 412 helicopter is fitted with a nose mounted Electro Optical Device (EOD)
20190820_004158
The Bell 412 helicopter is fitted with a nose mounted Electro Optical Device (EOD)
2019-08-31 00.28.40
NAF conduct show of force exercise with the locally weaponized Bell 412 helicopter.
2019-08-31 00.28.20
NAF conduct show of force exercise with the locally weaponized Bell 412 helicopter
2019-08-31 00.27.59
NAF conduct show of force exercise with the locally weaponized Bell 412 helicopter
2019-08-31 00.27.32
NAF conduct show of force exercise with the locally weaponized Bell 412 helicopter

EC-135 Light Utility Helicopter

In March 2016 several EC-135 helicopters were handed over to the NAF by NNPC. In collaboration with Aero-contractors Nigeria Ltd, the helicopters were retrofitted with door mounted machine gun and military grade sensors.

20190819_221422

20190821_124202

DgAEsHOX4AAVB29

2019-08-31 00.42.59

2019-08-31 00.43.52

20190820_155055-1

The Agusta Westland light utility helicopter.

20190819_221620

1024x538_438651

kaduna-special-forces

20190819_223552

AW101 Augusta Westland Helicopter

In 2016 President Buhari ordered the release of two Augusta 101 VIP helicopters from the Presidential fleet (PAF) to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to support air operations in the northeast.

4457171_v1_jpeg0904854e225109bfb7ef8e481490620a

img_20161010_205849-resized-800

20190820_003424

20190820_003442

20190820_003458

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s