NAF Introduces The Chengdu F-7 Airguard

The Nigerian Air Force recently introduced the Chinese made Chengdu F-7 combat aircraft to its fleet. The NAF acquired twelve F-7NI fighters and three FT-7NI trainers. Click here for some pictures of the introduction ceremony at Makurdi earlier this month. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin said that the NAF still needs more pilots to operate all the fighters.

The NAF also publishes a magazine called Air Trainer – the latest issue is available here.



11 responses to “NAF Introduces The Chengdu F-7 Airguard”


    The NAF has never had it so good since the early 80’s when they had the jaguar’s Mig 21 Fishbeds, the Alfas etc. the miliatry (ironically) destroyed this once great force for the same reason they destroyed the country. The acquisition of these “modernised Mig 21s” is a wellcome development. Along with the reactivated Alfas and aemachi they will keep the flying boys busy till we are able to acquire more sophisticated and beffiting aair assets like J-10, SAAB Grippen or even Sukhoi 27. Good works men.

  2. xnur44 says :

    The Chengdu F-7NI is considered an odd choice being that she recently grounded her fleet of Mig-21.

  3. xnur44 says :

    There exist today fundamental flaws in a balance military force structure, equipment and training procedures in the Nigeria Air Force. (see “Optimizing Training to meet NAF Operational Requirement” – AVM Osita Obierika -Rtd in Air Trainer- Publication of NAF Training Command) These are evident in reduced combat efficiency levels in NAF pilots, lack of frontline combat planes, unfavorable combat capable pilot per squadron ratio and even lack of sufficient jet fuel for training and simulated combat exercises. NAF continue to train pilots on outdated procedures and doctrines that were designed for yesterday battle scenarios.
    There is need for aggressive multi-year funding to replace outdated platforms like Alpha jet, Jaguar and L-39ZA. Modern Air Combat Maneuvering (ACM) techniques indicate that Beyond Visual Range (BVR) engagement is the way to go. The acquisition of the F-7NI does not confer the NAF with this capability. What it does at best with its limited range and all weather capability is to plug an embarrassing gap in the nation airspace pending the purchase of more capable and dedicated air defense fighter. There is need for the NAF to also acquire a multi-role fighter to limit operational frontline airplane types and its associated ground maintenance personnel, spare parts and support structures.
    Having to fly what is widely considered to be an inferior fighter does nothing for pilot morale.
    A replacement platform for the F-7NI maybe the latest version of MiG-29, Swedish JAS-39 Gripen, South Korea TA-50(replacement for Alphajet) or the Su-30 series which will be considered in the fighter community as a serious move towards a mature approach to achieving an air defense capacity.

  4. Ikenna Ezea says :

    I totally agree with xnur144. The Chengdu F-7 is a really stupid choice for any nation’s air force to consider purchasing, especially Nigeria. It would have been better to revive and upgrade our grounded Mig-21s (which are mostly 21bis models and easily adaptable for Western avionics and armament) and save costs. The J-10 would have been a much better option if we must patronise China made aircraft. The J-7 cannot accommodate most modern radar in its nose cone which would enable BVR encounters, the days of close range air-air combat are quite non-existent so this fighter is considerably useless in modern warfare. Another worrisome fact is its range of just 600km, which means a J-7 based in Port-Harcourt would not be able to intercept an intruding enemy aircraft over Sokoto. Its effectiveness in aerial defence would be determined by calculated distribution across airbases with consideration of its range in mind.
    The Mig-21 airframe is an obsolete aeronautical concept, which would only be properly suited for ground attack/infantry support roles in today’s scenario, and even then it is not very manoeuvrable at low speeds and altitudes due to its short span delta wing design and thus would be quite vulnerable to anti-aircraft missiles in the hands of well trained ground units, and its massive heat signature makes it easy picking for heat seeking missiles. Its only saving grace in such a situation would be to make use of its supersonic capability and make a run for it before the missile can get to it.
    If the F-7 is to be the primary fighter of our air force, then I pray we are never involved in any military skirmish with any country possessing a respectable air force. We might as well tie grenades to a bunch of balloons and send them floating out in our defence. God help us all.

  5. tim says :

    It is really a stupid thing…for the head of the airforce aqusitions to go and buy the f 7 and make noise about it as if it is a big deal aircraft….sorry to the pilots that fly them…cos they might be blasted before the radar picks the enemy planes…- often wonder if this generals know their work or only their pockets

  6. ozed says :

    Lets be careful before quoting names of big aircraft and expecting NAF to buy them. Defence spending is not done from a bottomless purse, so every nation must spend according to the threats facing it. Who are we preparing to fight USA or France? The Countries who we could conceivable have issues with are our nieghbours in the sub region, and with these acquisitions we are comfortably positioned as far as this is concerned.
    Also bear in mind that in air warfare, space denial is key i.e. you need platforms to cover airspace. Consequently depending on whom you are fighting, 30 functional but obsolecent aircraft are better that having only 3 stealth fighters.

    It is highly presumptous to imagine that a bunch of spare time defence enthusiasts like us, are better informed than airforce generals who have bought talked and fought wars.

    • xnur44 says :

      In the alternate, we can say nothing and do nothing, maintain our status quo and expect to be run over by men clad in animal skin armed with bow and arrows in our nation’s lifetime.

  7. eric says :

    i think its really a bad choice going for these chinese F-7s,i had hope that the deal will not sail through so we culd get better choices.we may not be involved in aerial battles with the US OR UK, but we have neighbours like cameroun that have defense pact with france.these ‘glorified MIgs’ are no match for french mirages to say the least.i think it wuld have been better to have 1 0r 2 first class fighters like the Mig-29s or even the F-15s,that can cover the country swiftly.lets not forget that our north african neighbours have these aicrafts.i can’t imagine the F-7s in a duels with with Libyan Mig-29s…it will be a great calamity!!!military supremacy now lies with who controls the air.we got the best brains in the world,let our leaders do what is right and in the nation’s interest.

  8. Muyiwa says :

    Half bread, they say, is better than puff puff. F7 is half bread, but a useful one at that. It will keep the flying boys of mischief of not having anything to do. Besides, what have we done with the Jaguars and alphas and Migs of yore? Which battles did they fight? We need money for other competing areas of national life. Let the boys master the F7’s, they will be able to respond to the threats we envisage. For those we do not envisage, God will save us from them.

    • macjay says :

      if u want peace,u must prepare and understand warfare….in modern warfare you dont need an equipment that can not withstand the pressure of modern warfare. the Chinese made f-7 fighters plane is not the ideal fighters jet for this nation…someone should point to a combat engagement this aircraft has been involved with,apart from flying sorties that is on non combat mode,now same plane is dropping like a bird.there is need for a rethink of our air-force acquisition programme,a retrofit MIGS by a country that stole the technology is not in our country interest.time for a rethink guys not until there is war before we can get the best tool.

  9. markava says :

    if really Nigeria is a great nation,then i think no great nation exist without an enemy.the nature of modern warfare gives advantage to the invading enemy for bringing the front into our.if our air defence is incompetent, then the last option is to establish multiple possible infilteration defence system such as maunting anti aircraft missile base along the coastal and highland region.this will assisst the vulnerability of our fighter jets.bear in mind that neibouring counteries airspace have been invaded.

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