Monday, 20 September 2021

A Guide To Nigeria’s Military Drones


By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The goal of this list is to comprehensively catalogue Nigeria's current inventory of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In an effort to streamline the list and avoid unnecessary confusion, this list only includes military-grade UAVs or military drones associated with Nigeria's defence industry. UAVs that underwent testing by the Nigerian military but were ultimately not acquired (such as the RQ-11 Raven and Schiebel Camcopter S-100) are not included in the list.
 
Over the past decade, Nigeria has designed several types of UAVs in collaboration with foreign companies and institutions. Most of these projects, most notably the Galma and Tsaigumi, appear to have been unsuccessful in their design or perhaps too limited in their usefulness to enter production in Nigeria. Nonetheless, they likely provided their designers with valuable experience in the design of unmanned aerial systems that one day could be used to design and produce a full-fledged Nigerian UAV.
 
In late 2020 it was reported that Nigeria would soon be receiving two Wing Loong IIs, four CH-4Bs and two additional CH-3As from China, the latter presumably to replace the examples lost in service since the type first entered service in 2014. [1] Arguably more surprisingly was the sighting of a single Emirati Yabhon Flash-20 in Nigeria in February 2021. The type was first reported to have been ordered by Nigeria in 2016, but had previously not been sighted in Nigerian service. [2]

Notes:

- If several configurations of a drone with one designation are known, they are added as such.

- The part within the apostrophes refers to other designations or an unofficial designation.

- When available, the date of inception is added.

(Click on the UAV to get a picture of them in Nigerian service)

Surveillance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • Aerostar Tactical UAS [2006] (Believed to have been decommissioned due to a lack of spare parts)
  • Tekever AR3 [2021] (In service with the Nigerian Navy)
  • Gulma [2013] (Not destined to enter active service)
  • Tsaigumi [2018] (Designed in collaboration with the Portuguese company UAVision. Not destined to enter active service)


Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles


Vertical Take-Off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

 

Trainer Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • Mugin (Used for training drone pilots)
  •  Amebo I [2010] (Designed in collaboration with Cranfield University UK. Not destined to enter service)
  •  Amebo II [2011] (Designed in collaboration with Cranfield University UK. Not destined to enter service)
  •  Amebo III [2012] (Designed in collaboration with Cranfield University UK. Used for training drone pilots)

[1] Nigerian Air Force getting Wing Loong, CH-3 and CH-4 UAVs https://www.defenceweb.co.za/aerospace/unmanned-aerial-vehicles/nigerian-air-force-getting-wing-loong-ch-3-and-ch-4-uavs/

Recommended Articles:

The Oryx Handbook of Iranian Drones
 

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