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Presidential Air Fleet Much Better Than NAF by Gbenge77(m): 9:16am On Jun 09, 2015
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Presidential Air Fleet Much Better Than NAF

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A renowned author and columnist Dr. M.K. Hassan expresses concern on the issue of budgetary spending. Despite drop of oil prices, the draft of the 2015 budget reportedly contains an allocation of N400m for purchase of a brand new presidential jet.

This may lead to the situation when the Presidential Air Fleet will have more modern and functioning aircraft than the whole Nigerian Air Force (NAF) combined.

Read more of Dr. Hassan’s findings published on SaharaReporters below:


One of the reasons the Nigerian military cannot to deal with Boko Haram is out-of-date air force. Instead of arming the NAF with modern fighter jets, Goodluck Jonathan has been building a fleet of brand new presidential executive jets. The struggling NAF is left with obsolete aircrafts to fight insurgents.

The Nigerian citizens, especially in the North East, have been left in the mercy of marauding insurgents taking over the country’s territory. With this kind of careless defense strategy from the president, how can the country defeat Boko Haram?

READ ALSO: MURIC Lambasts Jonathan For Desire To Buy Another Jet

According to one of the leading international defence and security sources, IHS Janes, “the NAF currently fields a very limited offensive counterinsurgency (COIN) capability in the guise of 11 Chinese-built CAC F-7 fighters; as well as 21 Aero L-39ZA Albatros, 12 Alenia MB-339, and 12 Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet trainer and light strike platforms. It also fields seven Mil Mi-24 ‘Hind’ assault helicopters. With the exception of the F-7s, which were acquired in 2010, the NAF’s fixed-wing combat fleet dates back to the early 1980s and needs replacing.”

The 12 German-French Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jets have been the main fighter jets in the fight against Boko Haram in the last six years. Alpha jets are out of production since 1991. They have some of the most obsolete surveillance capability one can think of due to low computing and imaging processing power of the electronics on board. These jets were designed for the attack of long-range fixed targets like barracks in conventional warfare and not close and highly mobile targets like Boko Haram’s pick up trucks convoys.

To summarise, the capability of these Alpha jets, it is like trying to use the early version of the black and white Nokia 3310 phone for Facebook and Internet browsing nowadays, instead of taking devices like Blackberry Z30 or iPhone 6. For all his promises of defeating Boko Haram, President Jonathan is trying to use these jets as his main fighting air power to defeat the insurgents. How would it be possible to find Shekau using these?!

The Chinese made Chengdu F-7 jet fighters were acquired by Obasanjo in 2005 and delivered up to 2010 as reported by Janes. “Made in China” goods and OBJ have one thing in common: unreliability, and high failure rates when and where it matters most. The Chengdu F-7 were among some of the jets that have been crashing and burning down during this conflict. I believe any fighter pilot that is asked to go on mission with any of the unmaintained jets, will definitely make his last prayers before flying one.

The Russian MI helicopters are among those crashing helicopters we have got, and some did crash recently and were in the news.

I am not going to talk about the Czechoslovakian made Aero Albatros L39 and the 12 Alenia MB339 military trainer jet aircrafts. Those are so old that they are supposed to be in a museum, and not for training our Jet Fighter Pilots.

Some of these jets were burned down by Boko Haram when they attacked Maiduguri in March 2014 as shown in the pictures released online by the insurgents. This begs for explanation, why were even some of the jets parked in Maiduguri, the epicenter of Boko Haram, instead of outside the region? Why would Air Marshall Badeh allow this? At least we know that for security of defence assets, in most war setting situation, long-range jet fighters are kept out of conflict regions and are most of the time signaled to come in for attacks. For example, will the US Air force park their most important jet fighters, the Northrop Grumman B2 stealth bombers, in Baghdad waiting for terrorists to come and burn them down? No! Anyway this is a story for another day.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram Killed Nigerian Pilot On Video

How can rag tagged insurgents be moving in convoys for 100’s of kilometers within Nigerian borders unchallenged with air power and be able to establish a caliphate in Gwoza? In a pathetic show of comedy, instead of the president to acquire real drones like the Raptors from General Atomics, Stalkers from Lockheed Martin or their type from anywhere to stop the terrorists from moving in large convoys, he had his own drone made for him in Kaduna. This president is unserious! The Kaduna made “Gulma” drone he went to launch some months back, one can buy something better than it for three thousand dollars (600 thousand naira) on Ebay website. The president in his usual characteristic comical display of “C in C” powers praised the toy Gulma drone and said that it will be used to fight Boko Haram. Even on the launch day, the Gulma drone was a sitting duck on display inside a building. It was not flown to demonstrate its capabilities to fight Boko Haram and only God knows how much was spent in building Gulma. What a fraud and a joke!

As an expert in radar systems and electronics, I can say without mincing words that these out of style aircrafts the NAF uses in this battle against Boko Haram with not so good night vision capability, magnetometers, vision cameras, gyroscopes, and other must have sensors on board fighter jets, cannot find Shekau and his rag-tag army. These military assets are incapable of accurately tracking highly mobile insurgents targets like Boko Haram that move in large convoys to attack our towns and villages.

Does it bother Jonathan that his Air force is in shambles since he came to power and cannot fight Boko Haram? NO! The reason is his measure of how successful and strong the economy and his country is, is not by the fighting power of his Air force. The president measures the prosperity of his country and its military strength with how many new jet owners we have since he came to power, and how many executive jets he has acquired for himself. O boy, we are in serious trouble.

Do not despair, there is a new strategy and fighter jet for fighting Boko Haram and it is the PVC. PVC stands for the Permanent Voters Card. Yes, it is a weapon that Nigerians must acquire to defeat the incompetent government and Boko Haram. No matter what, every citizen must get this fighter jet, the PVC, since the Government has failed to get fighter jets for its Air force to fight Boko Haram. The way to use the PVC fighter jet is to come out on the election day, line up no matter the heat and inefficiency of the INEC on that day, to cast the vote, defend the vote against external aggression of riggers and their collaborators so that we can have a new government that will arm the Air force.

The incumbent president has already bought 4 jets since he came to power in addition to the 9 jets he met in the fleet.

Finally, we have to ask how many presidential jets will be enough for a child that grew up with no shoes. http://www.naij.com/352719-presidential-air-fleet-much-better-than-naf.html

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