Intelligence report gathered by the Nigerian Air Force, indicates that the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar with two crew members on board on March 31st, 2021 might have crashed while Boko Haram terrorist group led by Abubakar Shekau, has claimed responsibility for downing this Air Force (NAF) Alpha fighter jet, that crashed in Konduga Local government area of Borno State.
Like a general aviation crash, a military plane/jet crash can be caused by a wide variety of factors, such as design or manufacturer defects, pilot error, negligent maintenance, air traffic controller error, inclement weather or bring down by enemy.
In the case of the NAF Alpha Jet aircraft crash two point need to be examine, firstly, accidentally crashed as claim by Nigeria Air Force or downing by Boko Haram as they also claimed. If it accidentally then investigation must be carryout to prevent further phenomenon. But if otherwise then there is fire on the mountain.
If this fighter jet is truly brought down as claim by Boko Haram then I don’t expect Nigeria Leaders and service chief to sleep with two eyes closed because no wise man keeps sleeping while his house on fire.
Unlike tanks military fighter jet cannot be brought down by ‘RPG’ a rocket-propelled grenade (Ruchnoy Protivotankoviy Granatomyot) that is a shoulder-fired missile weapon that launches rockets equipped with an explosive warhead, this is commonly seen with Boko Haram, bandits, militants and military personnel. Most RPGs can be carried by individual soldiers or terrorists and frequently used as anti-tank weapons.
To bring down a fighter jet or military air craft, anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is needed, that is, all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action as been define by NATO. Air-to-Air Missiles from other jets or Surface-to-Air missiles from the ground were the common option available.
If truly Boko Haram brought down the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) it simply means they might have used Surface to air missiles. A surface-to-air missile (SAM), also known as a ground-to-air missile (GTAM) or surface-to-air guided weapon (SAGW), is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles.
The causes for alarm
1-Finance. Anti-aircraft warfare is very expensive, from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. Surface-to-air missiles prices are determine by their guidance, mobility, altitude and range. And if a terrorist group is able to aquire this weapon it means the group is been finance by a rich group of people, government or super rich individual. And if they are able to aquire Anti-aircraft warfare what is the probability they will not go for more deadly weapons to cause more disaster or expand their territory.
2-Technicality. It goes beyond only finance it requires an expert to assemble and lunch a missiles of this class that is another cause for alarm.
3-Strength. If a terrorist can be so strong to acquire Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence it means we are facing a real war because that means they are well equipped and have capacity to cause more damages.
4-Encouragement. This is going to be an encouragement and morale-boosting to this terrorist group and other similar groups like bandits.
5-Border security. This is a sign that we fail to secure our border. if heavy weapons such as this can find it way to our territory then we are in danger. With thousand customs, Immigration and all government agencies in roles such as intelligence gathering, battlefield surveillance, airspace surveillance, reconnaissance, observation, artillery spotting, border patrol etc.
My aim and objectives is never to create panic but a wake-up call to our leaders and military chiefs. They need to put more effort and probably change their tactics in order to secure our nation and bring an end to our security challenges.
In as much I agree with more personnel recruitment but war and security challenges especially this Nigeria case is beyond just a number of personnel. Our leaders need political will and boldness to raise war against the beneficiaries of insecurity (both military and civilian) including those who finance the terror.
Border security, intelligence gathering, deployment of modern security gadgets, pro-active approach, modern counter-terrorist training and approach (the State of Israel as a case study), modern war aircraft, personnel welfare, training and increment of salaries and allowances, transparency in military budgets and expenditure, weaponry, state police are all good steps.
Together we shall build a nation where justice and peace shall reign.
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