Is Nigeria Selling MIG-21 Jets, C-130 Hercules?
Multiple offers of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircrafts have appeared in Trade-A-Plane.com, a platform for connecting buyers and sellers of aeroplanes, helicopters and aeroplane parts, suggesting that the NAF may be offloading some of its older aircraft.
Twenty Soviet-built Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed fighter jets and three Lockheed C-130 Hercules are being advertised on the platform for sale.
According to details on the MIG-21 advert, the vendor is offering five MiG-21 MF, four MiG-21 UM and eleven MiG-21 BIS and 15 new engines.
HumAngle, however, learned from a source that the Nigerian Air Force was not offering the aircrafts for sale because such transactions would go through an open process.
It was not clear why the MIG-21s and C-130Hs were listed on the online platform known for selling and buying of aircrafts and their accessories.
The MIG-21 aircraft was ordered by the Government of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon for the nascent Nigerian Air Force in the mid-1970s to replace the MiG-17 fighter jets acquired during the Civil War.
The Soviets delivered an estimated 26-second generation MiG-21MFs and MiG-21UMs in 1975 after Gowon’s removal in a coup plot and the last batch of six advanced MIG-21BIS were delivered in the 1980s.
The aircrafts were used for some time including during the border war between Nigeria and Chad.
Three MIG-21s were burnt in 2014, during a deadly Boko Haram attack on the airbase in Maiduguri, Borno State.
In the early 2000s, the Nigerian government cancelled a program to upgrade the MIG 21s and instead opted for 15 Chengdu Aircraft Corporation built F-7NI and FT-7NI.
The aircraft is a clone of the MIG-21 aircraft.
The vendor involved with the MIG-21 is also offering three Nigerian Air Force C-130H for sale.
At least six Lockheed C-130 Hercules were acquired between 1975 and 1976; NAF910, NAF911 (lost in September 1992 air crash), NAF912, NAF913, NAF914 and NAF915 while stretch version C-130H-30 were delivered in 1985; NAF916, NAF917 and NAF918.
Operational C-130 aircraft are operated by the Air Force 301 Heavy Airlift Group Ikeja Lagos, in support of humanitarian and combat operations.
In January, NAF 913 was reactivated after completing in-country Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) at 631 Aircraft Maintenance Depot in Ikeja, on January low-resolution image, this was the second c-130H to be reactivated, following the return to service of NAF 917 in June 2019. A third aircraft (NAF 918) is expected to undergo PDM in the first quarter of 2021.
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