Written by Guy Martin, Monday, 30 March 2015, in Defence.co.za
Nigeria’s military is acquiring new and second-hand hardware for all three branches of service as it battles Boko Haram insurgents on land and maritime insecurity and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
Over the last couple of years, Nigeria has received armoured vehicles, small arms, combat aircraft and large and small naval vessels, among other items, from mostly Asian and Eastern European suppliers. It has also domestically manufactured and assembled small arms and armoured vehicles and refurbished and upgraded aircraft with foreign assistance.
For example, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Arms Transfers Database, Nigeria last year produced 10 Streit Cougar armoured personnel carriers (APCs) under license as the Igirigi. The Igirigi is assembled by the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps and was initially thought to be a wholly indigenous design.
Canada last year also delivered 10 Spartan Mk 3 armoured vehicles ordered in 2013 and this year is delivering 20 Inkas Light Armoured Patrol Vehicles (LAPVs), which will most likely be used by the Nigerian Army. Nigeria has for some years operated various Inkas armoured vehicles, which have seen service with the police, army and VIPs. Inkas Armoured has been operating in Nigeria since 2008 and has a sales office and workshops in the country.
The Nigerian Army is being re-equipped in an effort to combat Boko Haram insurgents and has been bolstered by armour from the Czech Republic, which is delivering four BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Nigeria this year, together with six RM-70 122 mm self-propelled multiple rocket launchers and at least four T-72M1 tanks. These are all second hand vehicles ordered in 2014. The tanks were first seen being flown to Nigeria in January this year.