These are the Big Guns of the Nigerian Army.

The strenght of the Nigerian army has historically centred around its armoured and artillery forces. There are times when a country will need the brute force of heavy armour, this is where Nigeria stands in a league of its own.

These are some of the heavy weapons fielded only by the Nigerian army in the region.

Palmaria 155 Self Propelled Howitzer.


Developed by the Italian company OTO Melara, the Palmaria is the Nigerian Army’s most potent howitzer.  It features an automatic loading system, providing a rate of fire of one round ever 15 seconds or a burst fire rate of three rounds every 25 seconds.

A Palmaria 155 self-propelled howitzer of the Nigerian Army.
A Palmaria 155 SPH outside the Eagle Square Abuja.
Palmaria 155 Howitzers deployed to the northeast for combat operations against Boko Har am.
A Palmaria 155 Howitzer getting prepped for deployment to Nigeria’s northeast.
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A Reporter embeded with the Nigerian army takes a picture in front of a 155 howitzer
Reporters embedded with Nigerian Army combat units in the Sambisa forest pose for a photo. Pairs of the 155 SPH and a Roland surface to air missile system visible in the background.

Projectiles

A wide variety of munitions includes specially developed Simmel ammunition with a range of 24.7 km and rocket-assisted projectiles with a range of 30 km.

The Palmaria fires the standard 155 mm shell and rocket assisted High Explosive FRAG projectile. Maximum range of fire is 24.7 km with ordinary projectile and 30 km with rocket assisted.
The Palmaria fires the standard 155 mm shell and rocket assisted High Explosive FRAG projectile. Maximum range of fire is 24.7 km with ordinary projectile and 30 km with rocket assisted.
A standard155 high-explosive projectile in flight.
A standard155 high-explosive projectile in flight.
Seconds from impact of a ground burst projectile.The blast radius of a 155 projectile is 150 metres.The shrapnel radius which includes casing and secondary projectiles extends the kill zone by a further 31metres.
Anything within 150 yards of the shell burst is dead from concussion alone. It creates a crater well over 30 ft in diameter, and 20-25 ft deep, and this is not counting the shrapnel coverage area.

RM-70 Multiple Launch Rocket System.

The RM-70 is a heavier variant of the venerable BM-21 Grad, designed for area-saturation. It packs 40 additional 122 mm rockets for reload and a maximum range of 20 kilometres and an operational range of 400 km.

It is designed for concentrated fire coverage of large areas (up to 3 hectares in one volley) by high explosive fragmentation shells. The fire is robust with almost 256 kg of explosives used in one volley of 40 rockets.

RM-70 MLRS being deployed to the frontlines.
Nigerian Army Field Artillery troops take firing positions. The RM-70 can be ready to fire in less than 2.5 minutes, and bug out of the area in 3 minutes.
Nigerian Army Field Artillery troops take firing positions. The RM-70 can be ready to fire in less than 2.5 minutes, and bug out of the area in 3 minutes.
Nigerian Army artillery troops hole firing positions in the Sambisa forest during Operation Lafya Dole, an offensive to dislodge Boko Haram from its last major stronghold. The RM-70 can be ready to fire in less than 2.5 minutes, and bug out of the area in 3 minutes.
NA artillery troops encircle Boko Haram positions with artillery, cutting off any chance of escape and ressuply.shortly before ground forces move in for the kill.
The Nigerian Army let loose 122 mm rain of steel on Boko Haram positions shortly before the ground invasion.
The Nigerian Army let loose 122 mm rain of steel on Boko Haram positions shortly before the ground invasion.
The RM-70 features new fire and control navigation and computerized firing system.

BM-21 Grad

NA artillery crew
A BM-21 Grad in firing position in the Sambisa forest during combat operations to dislodge Boko Haram from their last stronghold.
NA artilllery troops hold firing position in the Sambisa forest.

T-72 M MBT

The Nigerian Army Amoured Corp operates close to a hundred T-72 M tank.  This 41.5 ton second generation battle tank is the spear of the Nigerian Army three amoured brigades. It’s main armament are

125 mm 2A46M smoothbore gun.

12.7 mm NSVT anti aircraft machine gun.

7.62 mm PKT coax machine gun.

The T-72 has an operational range of 700 km and a top speed of 80 km/h.

A T-72 MBT deployed against Boko Haram in the Sambisa.
T-72 tanks of the NA 3 Amoured Division preparing for the final offensive to dislodge Boko Haram from their operational fortress in the Sambisa forest, northeast Nigeria.
Operation Lafya Dole. N.A. T-72 tanks assigned to the 7th Infantry Division charge through the Sambisa to link up with another tank unit on the opposite flank in a pincer assault.
Inside a T-72 MBT.
The interior of a T-72 tank.
The gunnery compartment of a T-72 MBT.
Two T-72 tanks conducting forward Recon.
Two T-72 tanks conducting forward Recon.

FV101 Scorpion Combat Vehicle Reconnaisance (light tank)


There are 200 Scorpion CVR’s light tank with the Nigerian Army. Built by Britannia the FV101 Scorpion Reece vehicle provides fire support for Nigerian ground forces. It holds the Guinness world record for the fastest tank, recording 82.23km/h.

Scorpion light tanks on parade at the Eagle Square ,Abuja.
Scorpion light tanks on parade at the Eagle Square ,Abuja.
The Nigerian Army’s compliment of Scorpion light tanks in storage.
Operation Crocodile Smile : Nigerian Army Scorpion tanks on the streets of Port-Harcourt during a military exercise
A pair of Vickers battle tank and Scorpion light tank at the gates of the Nigerian Army base in Port-Harcourt.
Scorpion light tanks on the streets of Port-Harcourt during the military exercise -Operation Crocodile Smile,

Vickers MK III Eagle Tank.

There are 118 Vickers MK III Eagle tanks in service with the Nigerian Army. Built by Vickers Defense Systems of Britannia, the Vickers is a 38.6 tons tank. It has an operational range of 530 km and a top speed of 50 km/h

Main armament

1 x 105 mm L7A1 gun with 50 rounds.

Secondary armament.

1 x 12.7 mm ranging machine gun with 700 rounds

1 x 7.62 mm MG (pintle mount) with 1,300 rounds

A Vickers Main Battle Tank outside a federal building.
A NA Vickers MK 3 tank, one of the tanks scheduled for parade at the Eagle Square Abuja.
The machine gunner in a Vickers MK 3 tank in combat operations against Boko Haram in Nigeria’s northeast.
A Vickers MK 3 tank at the Kure firing range.

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Maximum effective range of the Vickers MK 3 is 500 metres.
Tank gunner of a Nigerian army VICKERS MK 3 peers into his targeting scope.
Tank gunner of a Nigerian army VICKERS MK 3.
Tank gunner of a Nigerian army VICKERS MK 3.

FH77 B  (Haubits) 155 mm Howitzer.

The Haubits is a Swedish made 39 calibre barrel howitzer.  It features an interrupted screw breech, making it able to fire 4 rounds in 9 seconds or 6 rounds in 25 seconds. In a sustained firing role, it can fire 6 rounds every two minutes for 20 minutes. There are 36 FH77 Haubits in service with the Nigerian Army.

A Nigerian Army Boffos FH-77 artillery gun.
Nigerian troops shell Boko Haram positions during the battle of Konduga.
The crew consists of 19-14 men. The minimum crew setup is 4 men : commander, layer, loader 1 and loader 2.
The crew consists of 19-14 men. The minimum crew setup is 4 men : commander, layer, loader 1 and loader 2.

Nigerian troops shell Boko Haram positions during the battle of Konduga.

The FH77B uses standard NATO 155 mm high explosive shells with bagged drive charges, and can lob shells 13 miles downrange into enemy territory. With a kill zone of 100 metres each shell ends all life within the size of a football field.

Combat operations. Artillery troops shell Boko Haram positions.

Panhard ERC- 90

The Panhard ERC 90 (Sagaie) is a six wheeled armoured all terrain vehicle, able to traverse through land and water. Built in France it weighs  8.3 tonnes and has a crew of 3. The crew is protected by 10 mm of thick amour.

Armaments:

The primary amour of the ERC Sagaie is its 90 mm cannon. It also has a secondary armament of 2x 7.62 mm machine gun. It has an operational range of 730 kilometres and a top speed of 90  km/h.

There are 130 Panhard ERC -90 in service with the Nigerian Army.

Panhard ERC -90 on display during a military parade at the Eagle Square Abuja.
Panhard ERC -90 of the Nigerian Army.
Panhard ERC -90 of the Nigerian Army.
Panhard ERC -90 of the Nigerian Army.

Steyr 4K 4FA Infanry Fighting Vehicle.

The Steyr is an Austrian built 15 ton tracked amoured vehicle. The hull of the Steyr 4K 4FA series armoured personnel carrier is made of all-welded steel armour and is immune to penetration from 20 mm armour-piercing projectiles over its frontal arc.

Armaments :

81 mm Multiple Rocket Launcher mounted on the rear troop compartment.

20 mm cannons.

12.7 mm Browning machine gun.

There are 300 Steyr 4K 4FA in service with the Nigerian Army.

Steyr 4K 4FA on display during a military parade at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
Steyr 4K 4FA during combat operations to dislodge Boko Haram from their last stronghold in the Sambisa.
Nigerian troops jumping out of the Steyr 4K 4FA.
Nigerian soldiers on patrol in their Steyr 4K 4FA infantry fighting vehicle.
Steyr 4K 4FA in the north east.

FV103 Spartan

This 9 ton British built Combat Vehicle Reconnaisance is armed with a single 1 x7.6 mm General Purpose Machine Gun.


Military parade at the Eagle Square Abuja.

ZSU Shilka SPAAG. 

Originally designed to destroy low flying attack planes, the Shilka when used on a depressed trajectory is devastating to infantry and vehicles. There are 30 ZSU-23-4 Shilka in the Nigerian Army inventory.

A radar-guided ZSU-23-4 “Shilka” SPAAG, with its four 23 mm (0.90″) autocannons.
The ZSU-23-4 has a very high density, rate and accuracy of fire, as well as the capability for each of the four autocannons to fire its own type of projectile from separate belts.
Nigerian Army ZSU-23-4 during an Independence Day parade at the Eagle Square Abuja.
The OFZT incendiary fragmentation and BZT armour-piercing tracker.
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