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BEEGEAGLES BLOG @beegeaglesblog
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#National Security & The #BokoHaram Insurgency: On The Most Pressing Challenges Currently Facing The @HQNigerianArmy's Operations
@HQNigerianArmy 1. None to the exclusion of the other, the operations are as intensely dogged by issues which stem from the human factor ( MANPOWER) as they are majorly constrained by issues of logistics and ewuipment (MATERIEL)
@HQNigerianArmy We shall xray the storied human factor subsequently but let us begin from the area of materiel where we shall be making some revelations that are as in-depth as they are unprecedented...never been broached with such specificty
@HQNigerianArmy MATERIEL: In descending order, the matter of equipment has to do with SERVICEABILITY of existing hardware systems, POOR RECAPITALISATION (little or no acquisitions) and OBSOLESCENCE (very old systems). Let us now address each of these issues in turn
@HQNigerianArmy 1a. SERVICEABILITY: On paper, Nigeria own a fairly large arsenal of mostly ageing weapon systems but there are many systems in the inventory which cannot be deployed cos they were not smart acquisitions or have been poorly maintained
@HQNigerianArmy Serviceability is perennial problems have dogged the NA every year since the 1970s and curiously continue even at this time. It is not known if it has to do with the diversion of funds intended for maintenance, poor funding or both
@HQNigerianArmy It is a source of worry that Nigeria have never shown interest in contemporising existing equipment holdings through upgrades while several of the hardware systems are failing in the harsh climes of the NE
@HQNigerianArmy Let us now take a detailed look at several systems owned by the NA which are either ill-adapted for operations in the NE or have bee too badly maintained as to be able to add value to operations in the theatre
@HQNigerianArmy 1b. Grappling With Issues of Serviceability - MOWAG APC: Way back in 1980, 70 units of this system were acquired. Whereas they fared well in ECOMOG operations in the rainforest belt of West Africa, they faltered spectacularly in the sahelian heat of Darfur, Sudan
@HQNigerianArmy We once made this point BUT constrained by an unimpressive rate of infusion of new hardware systems, the NA are "managing" the MOWAG in our NE. The APC is faltering again like it did in Darfur
@HQNigerianArmy Infact, the issue has to do with being perennially overheated. The said APC faltered so badly in Darfur during the Obasanjo years that they had to be returned to Nigeria and Otokar Cobra APCs sent there instead
@HQNigerianArmy Yet even with the clear knowledge of their limitations (parts of Borno lie more northerly than El Geneina, state capital of West Darfur), the NA continue to "manage" this ill-suited APC cos their options are limited
@HQNigerianArmy 1c. Grappling With Issues of Serviceability - T55 Tanks: The precise date of induction of the earliest batch of these tanks has been sometimes given as 1978. It was Nigeria's first battle tank. It is certain that President acquired at least 50 T55 tanks in 1981
@HQNigerianArmy Even as the technology is outdated, it is normally a rugged and reliable tank and its 100mm main gun can still destroy anything that BH manage to field, our T55s are grappling with major issues of serviceability.
@HQNigerianArmy We have failed to make them less susceptible to RPGs fired by terrorists because no FG has deemed it fit to increase their survivability by simple slapping reactive armour on them while their maintenance has been below par for 25 years
@HQNigerianArmy During a battle at Biu around 2014-15, the sprockets(wheels) of a T55 came off as it rolled out to do battle. It had to fight in that immobile state. Thankfully, we won that battle even as the tank was a sitting duck
@HQNigerianArmy Other maintenance problems facing the T55 tanks which participated in several live fire drills during the years of military rule is that the barrels of their main guns need to be changed so that they can join the fight enmasse
@HQNigerianArmy To be continued (Panhard AML 90s next)
@HQNigerianArmy Id. Grappling With Issues of Serviceability - Panhard AML 90: This legacy hardware system of which Nigeria acquired a hefty 120 units is armed with a 90mm gun would ordinarily represent a major asset base at this time
@HQNigerianArmy Incredibly, not one unit of the type has been seen in action since 2010. The problem - issues of heating which can addressed by a third party contractor. Somehow, the AML 60 with its 60mm gun-mortar has been seen in action
@HQNigerianArmy Ironically, the Eland, South Africa's variant of the AML 90 was the main armoured vehicle fielded by the Chadians in Mali and in Nigeria's border town of Gamboru
@HQNigerianArmy So how do the Chadians manage to keep theirs operable? Well, a Belgian firm upgraded all 82 units which the Chadians acquired secondhand from SA.
@HQNigerianArmy In all if this gloom, there is ONE bright spot. The Nigerian Army Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (NAEME) have managed maintain a high serviceability ration on the Panhard VBL
@HQNigerianArmy This they managed to cos its engine is equivalent to that of thr Peugeot J5 bus. Those can be sourced from spare parts markets around Nigeria.
@HQNigerianArmy Nigeria own the regular-sized VBL and the larger variant of it which has a long wheelbase.
@HQNigerianArmy Around 2014, we made a small but disturbing purchase of BTR-4 APCs but they have yet to see action and are idling away at Jaji. This is because there was no order placed for 30mm ammunition. The strange plan had been that they would use the 30mm ammo of Mi-35P helicopters
@HQNigerianArmy One other system which would have been fit for the theatre is the Fox scout car which has a 30mm cannon and which we have owned 55 units of since the 1970s
@HQNigerianArmy Bar its use in one of the 1975-83 era coups. this useful asset has been out of sight. I understand thatvone unit made a surprise appearace at a range classification exercise which took place earlier this year in Bauchi
@HQNigerianArmy Now, let us look at INFANTRY SUPPORT WEAPONS. I have beem reliably informed that after every battle won by our troops, the first thing which our troops rush to BH off is their RPGs. Why?
@HQNigerianArmy The reason is said to stem from the fact that whereas our troops use the oval shaped grenades (which may or may not detonate on impact), the terrorists use brand new RPGs of a more modern vintage whose grenade is formed like a shaped charge+is more lethal
@HQNigerianArmy The foregoing represents some of the equipment challenges which the NA grapple with amd which negatively impacts performance. Hopefully, we shall return to advance this thread later on, God willing
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