Nigerian Armed Forces


Nigerian Armed Forces

1. Order of battle
2. Overview
3. Defence economics
4. Nigeria threat report
5. External deployments

1. Order of Battle

Total force strength Army: 100 000
Air Force: 13 000
Navy: 15 000
Paramilitary: 82 000
Armour 108: Vickers Mk 3
24: T-55
5: Scimitar
16: AMX-30
Reconnaissance 90: AML-60
40: AML-90
70: EE-9 Cascavel
50: FV721 Fox
16: Saladin Mk2
72: VBL
204: Cobra
157: Scorpion
5: Scimitar
APC 250: 4K-7FA Steyr
67: MT-LB
10: FV603 Saracen
110: Piranha
47: BTR-3U
7: BTR-3
40: BTR-3U Guardian
18: Panhard M3
Alvis Spartan
12: Gila
4: Saxon
5: Casspir III
Self-propelled artillery 25: Palmaria 155 mm
Towed artillery 100: M-56 105 mm
24: M-56P 105 mm
180: D-30 and D-74 122 mm
7: M-46 130 mm
24: FH-77B 155 mm (Reportedly in store)
4: M81/85 152 mm
Multiple Rocket Launcher 25: APR-21 122 mm
5: BM-21 122 mm
Mortar 200: 81 mm
100: 82 mm
Anti-armour 100: Carl Gustav 84 mm
24: LRAC 89 mm
24: RL M20 3.5 in
RPG-7 Knout 73 mm
Recoilless rifle ?: M-40A1 106 mm
Air defence gun 30: ZSU-23-4
350: ZU-23
12: Bofors L/60 40 mm
Air defence missile 16: Roland (on AMX-30 chassis)
48: Blowpipe
100: SA-7 Grail
Air defence radar  ?: RASIT
Structure 3rd Armoured Division (2 armoured brigades)
1st and 2nd Mechanised Divisions (each with 1 mechanised and 1 motorised brigade)
81st Division (Lagos) (2 infantry and 1 anti-aircraft battalions)
82nd Combined Arms Division (1 motorised brigade, 1 amphibious brigade, 1 airborne battalion)
7 Infantry Division
1 Guards battalion
1 Special Forces battalion
Air Force
Combat aircraft 12: F-7 (survivors of 15 originally delivered)
2: Su-25 (for delivery in 2013)
Trainer aircraft 13: Alpha Jet
12: MB-339CD
12: L-39 Albatros
20: Air Beetle (Vans RV-6. 60 originally assembled by AIEP)
Maritime/EW/RECCE aircraft 2: ATR-42 Surveyor
DA 42 MPP (Presidential Ministerial Committee on Maritime Safety and Security)
1: King Air 350 (Presidential Ministerial Committee on Maritime Safety and Security)
Transport aircraft 5: C-130H Hercules (three others unserviceable)
6: G222 (five refurbished plus additional example acquired from Italy)
6: Do 228
17: Do-128D-6
16: Do-228-200
1: Cessna Citation II
VIP aircraft 1: BAe 125-1000
2: Falcon 7X
1: Falcon 900B
1: Gulfstream V
1: Gulfstream G550
1: Boeing 737 BBJ
Combat helicopter 4: Mi-24 Hind
7: Mi-35 Hind
Transport helicopter 7: AS-332 Super Puma
5: SA-330 Puma
10: Mi-8/17 Hip
12: AW-109K
2: Lynx Mk 89 (Naval Aviation)
4: AW139 (1 VIP, 1 naval search and rescue)
2: R-66
1: Bell 206 (naval aviation)
UAV 9: Aerostar
Structure Tactical Air Command
Training Command
Logistics Command
Mobility Command
Frigate 1: MEKO 360 Class (Nigerian Aradu class)
1: Hamilton class (Ex USCG cutter)
Corvettes 4: UK Vosper Mk 9/3
1: Thunder cutter (ex-USCGS Chase, Hamilton class cutter)
Mine layer/hunter 2: Ohue class minehunters (Lerici type)
Patrol/Strike boat 1: Andoni class (Nigerian build)
3: Lurssen class
2: Combattante 3B class (Siri class missile FAC)
2: Sea Eagle (IPV)
3: Class C, buoy tender (Ex US)
1: Class A, buoy tender (Ex US)
4: Shaldag Mk II (IPV)
16: Manta class patrol boat (IPV)
15: Defender class (IPV)
3: OCEA FPB 72 Mk II patrol boats
4: Swiftship type coastal patrol craft
1: Ekpe class missile FAC (FPB 57 type)
1: NNS Andoni
Amphibious/Transport/Supply 2: Ambe class LSTs (Type 502 class)
2: survey ships
2: Oton class LCUs
Structure 1 HQ (Lagos) 3 regional commands (Eastern Command in Calabar, Western Command in Lagos, Central Command in Brass)
Training Command (Lagos)
Central Naval Command
Logistics Command

2. Overview
Head of State and Government: President Muhammadu Buhari
Defence Minister: Aliyu Mohammed Gusau
Chief of Defence Staff: Air Marshal Alex Badeh
Chief of Staff of the Army: Major General Kenneth Tobiah Jacob Minimah
Chief of Staff of the Navy: Rear Admiral Usman O Jibrin
Chief of Staff of the Air Force: Air Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu
Member of: UN, AU, Commonwealth, OPEC, Seabeds Committee etc.
3. Defence economics
Defence budget percentage per GDP (2000-2010)

Defence budget per US$ Mil (2000-2011)

Defence budget percentage growth (2000-2011)

4. State of military forces

Nigeria’s military is tasked with preserving the country’s territorial integrity, contributing to national emergencies and security, promoting security in Africa and furthering Nigerian foreign policy, and contributing to global security. Since independence, Nigeria has experienced five military coups, as well as separatist and religious wars, and these years of military rule has negatively affected the equipment, morale and discipline of the armed forces. However, the Nigerian military has been undergoing a process of transformation since 2008 and has been expanding and re-equipping.

A Joint Task Force (JTF) was established to respond to terrorism and other threats in the Niger Delta. Defence spending has been growing rapidly over the last several years, especially in response to the numerous security challenges the country is facing, notably the Boko Haram insurgency, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and oil-related crime in the Niger Delta. Other security issues include civil insecurity and terrorism, religious and ethnic violence, drug trafficking and arms smuggling.

The Nigerian Army is the largest of the three branches of service, with some 100 000 personnel, and is facing the brunt of the country’s security challenges, notably the Boko Haram insurgency. A large portion of the Army’s budget has been spent on improving military facilities and supporting internal security and foreign peacekeeping deployments. Nigeria has been trying to modernise its Army by making it more professional, more sustainable and more rapidly deployable.

Many of the Nigerian Navy’s vessels are in poor condition due to lack of maintenance, but the Navy is embarking on a highly ambitious expansion programme that aims to acquire 49 naval vessels and 42 helicopters over the next decade. A number of vessels have been delivered over the last several years, such as the ex-US Coast Guard Hamilton class cutter NNS Thunder, and dozens of inshore patrol vessels. The Nigerian Navy will receive two more ex-United States vessels in 2014, the US Navy Survey Ship John McDonnell and the US Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin. China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Limited will deliver two 95 metre 1 800 ton offshore patrol vessels in the next couple of years.

After years of neglect, which saw dozens of aircraft like the Jaguar and MiG-21 fleets grounded, the Nigerian Air Force is refurbishing existing airframes and acquiring new types. It has, and continues to, reactivate stored C-130s, L-39s, Alpha Jets, Pumas and G.222s using domestic and foreign companies like the local Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services Limited (AETSL).

Nigeria is slowly growing its local defence industry, with local companies manufacturing everything from small arms to patrol boats. Modant Marine and the Naval Dockyard have built boats for the Navy – notably, the Dockyard in mid-2012 delivered to the Navy the 31 metre NNS Andoni patrol boat. More are under construction. On the land systems side, in July 2012 the Nigerian military commissioned Nigeria’s first locally produced armoured personnel carrier, the Igirigi, built by DICON-Marom, a joint venture between the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) and Israel’s Marom Dolphin Nigeria Limited.

Established in 1964, DICON also operates an Ordnance Factory in Kaduna, where it makes small arms and ammunition, including assault rifles, machine guns and sub-machine guns. Its Special Vehicle Plant is carrying out the refurbishment and upgrade of Scorpion light tanks, Steyr tracked armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and MOWAG APCs.

The local aerospace industry is involved in the maintenance of some Nigerian military aircraft while the Air Force Institute of Technology is developing the Amebo series of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Nigeria has repositioned its military as an African peacekeeping force – it has been, and remains, one of Africa’s leading peacekeeping nations and has spent over $10 billion contributing personnel and equipment over the last fifty years. Since 1995 it has deployed peacekeepers to Liberia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Sudan (Darfur), Mali and Somalia.
5. Country threat report

Threat type Overview
External • Nigeria is currently facing no external security threat.
Internal • Nigeria is facing an Islamic based insurgency in its Northern states by the Boko Haram militant group.
• Instability is still of concern within the Niger Delta.
• Maritime piracy and insecurity has become a serious concern in the Gulf of Guinea.
Regional • Instability within neighbouring Niger, Chad, and the Maghreb region, may affect Nigeria’s foreign security policy making.
Political • Nigeria is considered to be politically stable although political tensions still linger between Islamic northern provinces and southern Christian provinces
Economic • Nigeria’s economy is highly dependent on oil and gas exports. Any disruption to its production or international oil price instability could negatively affect Nigeria’s economy.

6. Major external deployments

Operation Country Personnel/assets
MINURSO Morocco/Western Sahara Experts on Mission: 5
MINUSTAH Haiti Police: 1
Experts on Mission: 18
Troops: 2
UNAMID Sudan/Darfur Police: 372
Experts on Mission: 14
Troops: 2573
UNIFIL Lebanon Troops: 1
UNISFA Sudan/Abyei region Troops: 3
UNMIL Liberia Police: 134
Experts on Mission: 9
Troops: 1466
UNMISS South Sudan Police: 5
Experts on Mission: 3
Troops: 3
UNOCI Cote d’ivoire Police: 4
Experts on Mission: 4
Troops: 63


Ministry of Defence

Ship House Area 10


Federal Capital Territory


Tel +234(0)92340534/2348975/2348970

Nigerian Air Force

Nigerian Navy


Nigerian Army