Boko Haram: Nigerian Airforce deploys night-fighting helicopter to North-east

Air force helicopter
Air force helicopter used to illustrate the story

Nigeria’s Chief of the Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, on Wednesday inducted a brand new Bell 412 attack Helicopter into the Nigerian Air Force to give support to ground forces in the ongoing counter-insurgency operation in the North-east.

NAF’s spokesperson, Olatokunbo Adesanya, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

According to the statement, the helicopter is one of the two handed over to NAF by the Federal Government earlier this year.

“Having been in containers for about two years as at the time of the handover, the major systems of the two helicopters and the surveillance cameras had to be sent to the USA and Canada for overhaul and repairs to restore their airworthiness,” Mr. Adesanya said.

“The helicopter’s major systems were later reassembled at the NAF’s 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot, ACMD, Ikeja thereby providing an opportunity for the attachment of NAF engineers and technicians towards further building their technical capacities.”

The statement noted that the night-capable attack aircraft is still undergoing reactivation at 631 ACMD and would be inducted into the NAF immediately after reactivation.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Abubakar, an air marshal, said the new helicopter comes with a surveillance camera and has night capability, among other capabilities.

“NAF had already trained its pilots, engineers and technicians to operate and maintain the new helicopter.

“Furthermore, adequate arrangements had been made to ensure the availability of spares and Ground Support Equipment for the Bell 412 Helicopters,” he added.

The NAF chief disclosed that the helicopter would be deployed to the North-east as part of the efforts to strengthen the counter-terrorism campaign.

However, Mr. Abubakar expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for directing that the helicopters be transferred to NAF, adding that it was a testimony of his commitment to the development of NAF.

The air chief urged the pilots and engineers to demonstrate competence, proficiency and professionalism as they operate and maintain the aircraft.

He also thanked NAF’s technical partners with respect to the Bell 412 Helicopters, Messrs Africair, and expressed his confidence that the partnership would last and be valuable.

In his earlier keynote address, the Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command, Ibrahim Yahaya, an air vice marshal, commended all the government agencies whose efforts facilitated the successful induction of the helicopter into the NAF.

The Nigerian Airforce had in January acquired two Mi-35M attack helicopters from Russia to fight terrorists and criminal gangs.

The Mi-35M is a rugged helicopter that offers round the clock combat use of guided and unguided weapons in regular and challenging climate conditions which is equipped with the latest navigation suite, target sights system, laser range finder and location finder.


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  • systematic

    Very good. we the good people of nigeria support u 200%

  • 0tile

    Systemic waste. Nonsense

  • thusspokez

    “Having been in containers for about two years as at the time of the handover, the major systems of the two helicopters and the surveillance cameras had to be sent to the USA and Canada for overhaul and repairs to restore their airworthiness,” Mr. Adesanya said.

    In container for two years? And still does have aircraft repair industry? Nigerians, what a disgrace to Africa.

  • thusspokez

    … the new helicopter comes with a surveillance camera and has night capability, among other capabilities.

    Drone is the future, and they are more cheaper. With as little as $1000, the Nigerian air-force can get a drone with night vision.

    • So oju abe niko

      A $1000 drone is only for recreation. This is not only just about surveillance, which a $1000 drone can do just passably. How much payload would a $1000 carry? How do you weaponize a $1000 drone? Any serious drone capable of very minimal military applications would be priced at a multiple of $100,000.

      • thusspokez

        My comment was about surveillance — not one to kill. My $500 drone is sophisticated enough to do what I want from it — of course, within the law in my host country.

        The Nigeria army can start with a $1000 drone for surveillance, experiment with it; learn from it; and develop larger one. And one day, even turn it into a weapon.

        Any serious drone capable of very minimal military applications would be priced at a multiple of $100,000.

        Hmmm, ISIS has several military drones, it must cost them a fortune considering that, according to you, they cost in excess of $100,000 each.

        • So oju abe niko

          You missed the mark then. The main story is about attack helicopter. It is not about surveillance. Every attack aircraft has some surveillance capability. The majority of military drones have attack capabilities – the objective is to do less and less with manned aircraft, in favour of using unmmaned drones.

          Even with strictly surveillance duty, your average $1000.00 drone is virtually useless for military operations. However many $1000 drones can fly more than 10 miles from base? How many $1000 drones can fly for more than 30 mins on a single charge. Your average $1000 drone is a toy, and that’s just about what it is good for. The cheapest military drones used solely for surveillance purposes is priced at multiple $10,000. Honestly, this not an area for a keyboard analyst – it is not as simplistic as you try to portray it.

          • thusspokez

            You missed the mark then. The main story is about attack helicopters

            Do pay attention when you are reading and responding to comments. I started this thread with response to a passage in the news report about surveillance, reprinted below.

            ” the new helicopter comes with a surveillance camera and has night capability, among other capabilities.”

            You can go ahead and discuss your military attack drones, I have no interest in that conversation here.

  • Isyaku Muhammad

    Alhamdulillah! May Allah save the north east and Nigeria at large

  • So oju abe niko

    I would be very afraid to be in the NE right now. As if the NE don’t have enough problem, they now have to face a night time attack helicopter under the command of pot-bellied pilots who are prone to unforced errors in the relatively easier daytime operations.

  • Pluti

    Giant of Africa can not repair simple surveillance camera and has to send it to the USA to repair?? Wetin dey inside the camera? That’s a fantastic bullshiit.. it’s embarrassing when some things are put out, these old men don’t realize there are more youths with knowledge these days. Even if you truly did that, is it not embarrassing to repair a military camera for months outside the country? Where there are youths yearning to explode their brains, you are repairing camera abroad for more than 3 months. Giant of Africa ni