Nigeria Military Air Defense System You Never Know Existed
Air defense is one of the pivotal parts of the defense of a country’s territorial integrity. In modern warfare, no matter how military equipped a country or nation can be, without a quick and responsive air defense system that nation is bound to be easily overrun by enemy forces with air attack capabilities.
Air defense systems also assist the air force and the military commanding centers in the challenging task of air space management, Air Traffic Control, Air Surveillance, operations, and ground based air defense. It is against this backdrop that nations spend huge resources in ensuring that their national air defense system could respond to threat miles away even before it gets to the borders or its air spaces.
Nigeria Military over the years have invested in various type of Air defense system which could help protect the country from external aggression, and the Nigeria Airforce has majorly played the role of managing the Nigeria Military Air defense system, though in collaboration with the Nigeria Army, Nigeria Navy and the Nigeria space agency.
Some of Nigeria Military Air defense systems include the Roland Short Range Air Defence System (Roland 2) which is the country’s primary air defense system. The Roland Short-range air defense system is intended to counter aircraft flying at nearly Mach 1.5, and hovering helicopters. With a coverage area of 100 km2 vis-a-vis a threat.
Another major Nigerian military air defense system is the ZSU-23–4 ‘Shilka’. The ZSU-23–4 ‘Shilka is a self Propelled Soviet Anti-Air Gun (SPAAG) developed during the early cold war and armed with four 23mm auto cannons, it poses a significant threat to low flying attack aircraft and choppers.
Amongst the Nigeria military air defense system which has served the country well but rarely makes the news is the Nigeria Military Tin Shield Air Defence Radar. Because the Nigerian Military has always been very secretive regarding information about its arms purchase and its operational structure, many people might find it as a surprise to see that the Tin Shield Air Defence system has been in the service of the Nigeria Military for over a decade.
The Tin Shield Air Defence system has a mobile radar system that can detect and classify air targets. The radar is optimized for detecting low and high altitude targets with a detection range of nearly 350 km (220 mi.) and operates in the E/F radio-bands (2-4GHz). The Radar System has multiple independent power stations. The system also features jamming resistant pods under active and passive jamming conditions for its radar-guided projectiles.
The Tin Shield Air Defence system has formed the backbone of the Nigeria Military Air defense system, however, things would like change for better as the Nigeria government is modernizing its military at a never before seen speed. New platforms are being introduced and there is a likely chance that Nigeria would receive the first batch of the HQ-9 SAM battery by 2022 and this will put fear in enemy aircraft intruding over Nigeria’s airspace. The HQ-9 is a medium to long-range, active radar homing surface-to-air missile. It is similar in capability to Russia’s S-300 and America’s Patriot missile batteries.
The HQ-9 SAM battery will replace the Roland 2 Short Range Air Defense System and formed the backbone of the Nigeria Military Air Defense System.