Four Chinese combat drones arrives Nigeria

Four new Chinese-made combat drones have landed in Nigeria and are being rushed into the Northwest region to boost the fight against armed banditry in the country under Sector 1 of Operations Hadarin Daji.

The UCAVs are currently in Gusau, Zamfara state which will be their operational base, a new runway and ancillary facilities to support the drone operations is being constructed. The UCAVs will cover several states including Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kastina, and some part of Kaduna state.

Two of the UCAVs Will be deployed to the newly formed 203 Combat Reconnaissance Group in Gombe state, and the other two will support the Air Task Force, under the ongoing Operations Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri.

Although, the type of UAV haven’t been identified, however, it is expected that the Nigerian Air Force will acquire either the CASC CH-4 UCAV as a follow up to the CH-3 it acquired in 2015, or the CAIG wing Loong unmanned combat aerial vehicle.

Last month, the Nigerian Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar disclosed that the Air Force has concluded the acquisition of eight new Chinese-made UCAVs, which would soon arrive in the country.

The CASC CH-4 is a medium altitude long endurance UAV, designed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology. The type can conduct both ISR missions and strike using it’s panoply of air-to-surface guided munitions.

The CH-4 can be armed with up to 345 kilograms of weapons including the BA-7 air-to-ground missile, YZ-212 laser guided bomb, YZ-102A antu-personnel bomb and 50kg LS-6 guided bomb.

The drone has a range of up to 5000 km, an endurance of 30-40 hours.
In Africa, the type has been used by Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Libya National Army.

Ekene Lionel

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