Nigeria cancels T-90 MBT order for Isotrex MRAPs, procures various arms

A recent report published by the Nigerian Ministry of Defence (MOD) detailing information of equipment ordered for the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and the Defence Intelligence Agency reveals that the Nigerian Army had initially ordered for 10 second generation T-90 main battle tank from Russia.

The document published on Sunday, by Nigeria’s news outlet PUNCH explains that the deal which also includes several other arms and ammunition, worth $99.5 million (N37.9 billon) was approved by President Muhammedu Buhari.

Out of the $1bn approved in 2019 by the President Muhammadu Buhari from the Excess Crude Account, 10 units of T-90 Tank Second Generation worth $43.68 million, and 10 units of BREM-4 Armoured Recovery worth $20,794,619.56 were initially earmarked.

The T-90 is a third-generation main battle tank designed by Russia in 1993. The tank is a vastly updated and modern variation of the T-72B and incorporates many advanced features.

A T-90 main battle tank (source: Rostec)

Nigeria operates at least 30 T-72AV and T-72Ms acquired second hand from Ukraine and Czechoslovakia in 2017. Although, the Nigerian Army now fields at least six Norinco VT-4 main battle tanks.

The report also explains that on February 5, 2020, the MOD replaced the order for $43.68m T-90 tanks “with 60 Legion MRAP, fitted with DSHK Guns, Codan HF Vehicular Radio and Automatic Turret with Pre-Shipment Inspection; and 24 Phantom II APC Including Pre-Shipment Inspection, Complete with Spares, Training and Maintenance.”

The document titled ‘Letter for Award of Contract for the Procurement of Critical Equipment for the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and the Defence Intelligence Agency outlines;

60 Isotrex Legion MRAP were acquired for $475,587.42, and armed with 12.7mm DSHK AA Guns worth $18,750, and fitted with Codan Radios worth $6,920, and armoured turrets worth $29,631.

In addition, 24 ‘Phantom II APC were acquired $385,208.67, and armed with 12.7mm DSHK AA Guns worth $18,750, and also fitted with Codan radio worth $6,920, and armoured turrets valued at $29,631.

“The sub-totals of the Legion MRAP ($530,888.42) and Phantom II APC ($440,509.67) added up to $971,398.09.”

However, the total contract sum was put at $43,680,000, including ‘Total for MRAP and Phantom II APC including pre-shipment inspection’ ($42,425,537.10), and ‘Balance for Spares + Training + Maintenance’ ($1,254,462.90).

Asides armor acquisitions, several other arms contract worth a total of $99,538,467.23 for the military equipment were awarded by the Ministry of Defence.

$496 million was paid to the United States Government for the purchase of 12 Super Tucano aircraft.

The Super Tucano counter-insurgency aircraft have completed their maiden flight and will be delivered by July this year.

Contract to supply twenty units of Ground Surveillance Radar equipment worth $7,041,245.91 was awarded to Reutech.

Also, 20 units of 81mm mortar worth $1,050,600, 120 units of MG-127-DSHK-M guns worth $2,715,553.80, and 2,012 units of AKMS rifles valued at $1,608,151.36 were paid for.

In the ammunition category, 8,141 units of 81mm Mortar Bombs valued at $9,955,615.97, 1,103,000 rounds of 12.7mmx108mm Cartridges worth $7,157,367, and 3,259 units of 122mm Grad Rocket worth $5,535,313.73 were listed as paid for.

Apparently, several of these listed arms have been delivered and received by the military, while some others are delayed as a result of the embargo in international flights caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 20 and 22, 2019, the Nigerian Army, in Abuja took delivery of 2012 AKMS rifles, 70 DSHK 12.7mm guns, 250 CZ 75 pistols and 550 units of 122mm Grad rockets.

On November 29, 2019, the Army confirmed receipt of 3,259 122mm Grad rockets, 20 40x46mm LV HE cartridges, 160 7.62mmx54mm ball-rimmed cartridges, 167 7.62mmx51mm metal link cartridges, and 30,939 7.62mmx39mm ball special cartridges.

While in January 31, last year, 20 GSRS arrived through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

In September 3, 2020, the Nigerian Army received 84 DSHK guns on August 11, 2020, and “found to be new and suitable for operational use.”

24 Isotrex Phantom II armoured vehicles were received on December 14, 2020.

About 589,337 rounds of 12.7mmx108mm cartridges were delivered on December 12, 2020 and found to be “new and suitable.”

Also, 20 81mm mortars and 8,141 81mm mortar bombs were delivered on September 18, 2020.

Arms yet to be delivered includes 10 BREM-4 Armoured Recovery vehicles ($20,794,619.56), 50 MG-127-DSHK-M guns ($1,131,480.75), 513,663 12.7x108mm cartridges ($3,333,159.21), 84 Codan radios ($13,840), and 84 Armoured Turrets ($59,262).

The total cost of the remaining items is $25,332,361.52.

Ekene Lionel

In search of the next big thing

Choose Your Language