In 2019, the Chief of Airstaff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar stated in a visit to the 23rd Quick Response Wing Base in Gembu that the Nigerian Air Force will be receiving six helicopters later that year.
According to the Chief of Air Staff, the helicopters on order are to be used to fight insurgent groups in the country on arrival.
Several others have been ordered in 2015 and delivery have been taken in different batches. Recently, the Nigerian Air Force received another set of new arrivals tagged squadron.
The Squadron is reported to be one that will be operating the core tasks of lifting, funding and attacking the battlefield supporting ground forces. Applaudably, as of this writing, the NAF operates the largest fleet of attack helicopters in sub-Sahara Africa. The squadrons are designed to hunt and destroy tanks.
One of the squadrons, MI-35M can reportedly operate in all weathers day or night, classify and prioritise up to 200 targets in a matter of seconds and is currently the most heavily armed aircraft in the NAF.
Another similar type, the Mi-24V/P Variant is a less advanced version of the MI-35M but with similar capabilities.
The frontline helicopter of the NAF is the MI-35M helicopter gunship. The MI-35M is the most sophisticated piece of combat aircraft available to the Nigerian military, until the arrival of the JF-17 and A-29 Super Tucano CT-COIN aircraft.
The Mi-171multi-purpose helicopters is another type designed to fly in adverse weather conditions and are also equipped for special operations during night time. It can ferry 28 passengers. It can be fitted to carry all sorts of weapons such as anti-tank missiles, cluster bombs, rockets etc.
One of the squadrons called NAHP which is a multi-mission helicopter, the NAHP can perform a wide range of tasks including armed reconnaissance, close-air support, escort or area suppression, search and rescue (SAR), anti-armour, liaison and command, troop transport, and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC).
Others include the A109M ”Power” Attack Helicopter which is capable of carrying out various missions including armed escort, search and rescue, The helicopter can be fitted with the Helitow anti-tank missile system which has two TOW missile launchers with two or four missiles each launcher.
This is really welcome development. We hope it begins operation in full force very soon and starts easing off major feats during wars.