|The new Tsaigumi UAV was built by the Nigerian Air Force aerospace engineers|
The Nigerian Air Force aerospace engineers have designed and manufactured a new class of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) called Tsaigumi UAV.
This is in furtherance of the ongoing drive to produce and incorporate made-in-Nigeria military weapons.
It was designed in the Nigerian Air Force Research and Development centre in Kaduna, in conjunction with UAVision – a Portuguese based firm.
The Nigerian Air Force announced in September 2015 its plans to build a new UAV, to that effect it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UAVision in 2016.
Tsaigumi UAV Design and Features
The new Tsaigumi UAV was built by the Nigerian Air Force aerospace engineers and was unveiled on February 15th at the Nigerian Air Force Base Kaduna. Tsaigumi means ‘surveillance’ in the local Hausa dialect.
It is a twin-boom UAV spotting a pusher propeller configuration with a high-wing monoplane design. For enhanced aerodynamic stability, it spots a H-type configuration tail section.
For take-off and landing, the Tsaigumi UAV is fitted with a tri-cycle landing gears which has two main wheels and a steerable front wheel attached to the nose of the vehicle.
Its maximum take-off weight is 95kg.
|Induction ceremony for the Tsaigumi UAV|
Tsaigumi History and Development
The Tsaigumi UAV has an uncanny resemblance to the previous Gulma UAV which itself looks like the Amebo UAV.
Gulma and Amebo most likely acted as a testbed for further Research and Development (R&D) into UAV development.
|Nigerian made Gulma UAV|
Responding to online Request for Information (RFI) the NAF Spokesman AVM OA Adesanya revealed that the newly developed Tsaigumi UAV is the first NAF’s ‘operational‘ indigenous UAV which might indicate that the Tsaigumi UAV would be deployed operationally in a combat theater.
|Tsaigumi UAV Ground Control Station (GCS)|
In May 27 2014, the NAF PR & Information Director, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas, told news media that the Gulma could not be used in the restive North Eastern Nigeria due to difficulties in mass producing it. He also said that the Gulma operators were still undergoing training.
Tsaigumi UAV sensors and Payload
The payload is housed in a gyro-stabilized, multi-sensor gimbaled unit attached underneath the fuselage. The payload pod incorporates an Electro-Optical Forward Looking Infra-red System (EO/IR FLIR).
The EO/IR FLIR can capture high-definition videos and images for aerial surveillance and monitoring.
The EO/IR FLIR system allows the Tsaigumi UAV to track targets, conduct surveys, inspect and monitor objects of interest in most weather conditions.
The Tsaigumi UAV is fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS) for accurate navigation and geolocation. An Inertial Navigation System (INS) is also mounted on the Nigerian-made avionics to locate and track the UAV and other object’s direction and position in relations to the ground and sea.
Videos and images are delivered to the Ground Control Station (GCS) in real-time.
Tsaigumi UAV Role and Mission
- Policing Operations
- Disaster Management
- Convoy Protection
- Maritime Patrol
- Infrastructure Monitoring
- Border Patrol
- Search and Rescue
- Geo-Spatial Mapping
- Wildlife Protection
- Weather Forecast
Other UAVs in Nigerian Air Force Inventory
Nigeria has a history of operating UAV’s, the country is one of the first in Africa to induct armed drones into active service. Other drones in Nigerian service includes:
- Israeli Aerostar (grounded as of 2015)
- CASC CH-3 UCAV
- Nigerian-made Amebo drone
- Nigerian-made Ichokwu UCAV
- Nigerian-made Gulma drone
- DJI Phantom-4 drone
- Yahbon Flash UAV (ordered)
Tsaigumi UAV Specifications
- Day/Night EO FLIR