Will the F-7Ni Fighter Remain in Service till 2030?

If you want something done slowly, expensively, and over budget, you go to the Nigerians. While Nigeria is the economic and energy superpower with a GDP of $1 trillion (ppp) and 40 billion barrels in oil reserve, it also has one hell of a dangerous, disgraceful and diabolical airforce.

This is the aircraft that defends 200 million Nigerians and 937,000 sqr kilometres of territory. In defining a diabolical airforce we take into account the following :

Conceptual mistakes

Being extremely dangerous

and hopelessly obsolete

Grab your popcorn, and prepare to get pissed, as you read about the obsolete machines they want young Nigerians to fly to war to defend our airspace.

Take an aircraft thats so dangerous, that statistically it is more likely than not, to crash, and arm it with missiles, you have a recipe for disaster. In one example, in January 2012 at 9 am, a missile was accidentally fired from an airforce jet on routine maintenance at the Airforce mechanic hangar in Port Harcourt, hitting an uncompleted building three kilometres away from the scene, sending panic-stricken residents fleeing for their dear lives.

That same year it kills two a commanding officers when it crashed on a training mission.

….and there you have the Chengdu F-7Ni Airguard. The guardian of the sky.

The F-7N is a Chinese clone of the ex Soviet MiG-21. The MiG-21 was built in the mid 50’s, barely five years after the Second World War. Yet 60 years later, this 1950 designed aircraft, replacing the Jaguar fighter jet as the best tactical fighter in the Nigerian airforce. And the Jaguars? it only exists in the form of museum pieces, standing in the cold in some village nearby.

The F-7N was acquired in 2005 as a stop-gap measure while the airforce searched for a suitable fighter to replace the Jaguar fighter jets and the MiG-21 as Nigeria’s primary frontline fighter jets.

Nigeria must have been swimming in a ridiculous amount of cash in the beginning of the decade, so much so that the government threw vast resources, spending $360 million on 15 aircrafts, that were at best mediocre, and which played an important part, in teaching the world that Nigeria does not take her national defense seriously.

 

Two F-7N interceptors getting prepped for flight.
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An F-7N deployed to Maiduguri.
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Two F-7N from the 62 Strike Group Yola taxi down an airstrip for takeoff.
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F-7N pilots.
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An F-7N deploys breakchutes upon touchdown.

Its been 26 years since the Jaguars were locked up in some Warehouse after a spat with BAE, 13 years since the MiG -21 was retired.

In that 13 years Nigeria has spent nearly $22 billion cumulatively, yet despite the up tempo of the Nigerian airforce in nearly a decade the nation is still unable or unwilling to take the defense of the nations airspace and strategic national assets seriously. Last week the government spent $500 million for 12 turboprop aeroplanes. Before that it was the Super Mushank trainer aircrafts. Before that it was two VIP Helicopters.

Jaguar graveyard.

When it comes to lack of maintenance nobody does it better than Nigeria, and from the look of things Nigeria will not give up that title easily without a fight. Here we see an entire squadron of Jaguar B fighter jets left to rot out in the open.

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It is irresponsible and borders on criminal the amount of money spent on junk while the airforce is stretched near breaking point carry out operations on multiple fronts.

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6 Replies to “Will the F-7Ni Fighter Remain in Service till 2030?”

    1. Sheer stupidity I dare say on the part of our government. To think we are making the exact same mistake with the Super Tucano deal. The aircraft manufacturer BAE Systems rejected Nigeria’s request to obtain advanced weapons systems to enhance the deep strike capabilities, limiting Nigeria to make do with dumb world war 2 iron bombs.

      A request for in-flight refuelling tankers was also turned down. The French, perhaps afraid of Nigeria’s rising military profile somehow convinced the British MOD that Nigeria had an hegemonistic agenda, the sale of aerial refuelling will give Nigeria to ability to invade its neighbours. The British DOD believed the crap rejected the request.

      That notwithstanding we had the option of going the Soviets who were eager to sell Nigeria it’s advanced fighter. Using the non-allignmemt status crap we turned down their offer.

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    1. Nigeria has earmarked $36 million as a payment for an order for just three JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighters, but it is being executed through installments paid in cash. Same they said 2015, same thing they said 2016. Last year we all thought delivery was imminent. It’s now 2018, they are still talking about cash payments in instalments. They Pakistani company is yet to release a timeline for deliveries, which suggest the money hadn’t even been paid. We talking about $38 million here. It’s going in 5 years to execute an order for 3 jets.

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  1. Ever time I see these Jaguars, I feel like crying. I heard rumors some 10 years ago that Nigeria wanted to sell them to Quatar or so. Instead of allowing us to see how our foolish leaders are wasting our resources,they should just go crush and recycle them. I have followed the ‘suicidal career’ of the F-7Ni ‘Flyimg Coffin’ since they were ordered during OBJ’s administration.i salute the courage of the men who strap themselves into those supersonic toys for the love of their country. I am yet to understand the reason why the largest economy in Africa with 40 Billion in Oil reserve would allow her flyboys to be caught dead with clones of a 70 year old fighter jets while smaller countries with economies smaller than Lagos’s are flying Su-27.

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