In recent years, the Nigerian military has turned to Turkey to meet its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) requirements, highlighting a strategic partnership that has proven to be mutually beneficial. The utilization of UAVs, commonly known as drones, has become integral to modern defence strategies due to their versatility, surveillance capabilities, and cost-effectiveness.
Turkey’s prowess in the field of drone technology has been well-established, with its domestically developed UAVs gaining international recognition for their performance in various conflict zones. Nigeria, facing challenges ranging from counter-terrorism operations to border security, has found a reliable ally in Turkey for fulfilling its UAV needs.
STM, a Turkish defence company, has recently exported its TOGAN unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to Nigeria. The TOGAN is a small, rotary-wing UAV that is designed for tactical-level reconnaissance, surveillance, and intelligence missions. It is equipped with a variety of sensors, including a camera and a thermal imager, and it can be used to gather information about the surrounding area.
TOGAN UAVs were delivered to the Nigerian Security Forces for use in border security within the scope of the $36.5m Project carried out by ASISGUARD with the Nigerian Ministry of Defence. The export of the TOGAN to Nigeria is the second for the system. The first export was to an undisclosed country in Africa. STM is also in talks with other countries in Africa about potential exports of the TOGAN.
The TOGAN is a versatile UAV that can be used for a variety of missions. It is well-suited for use in border security, where it can be used to monitor the border and detect illegal activity. It can also be used in counter-insurgency operations, where it can be used to track and target enemy combatants.
Also, Havelsan, a Turkish defence and informatics company, has announced that it has exported its Sub-Cloud Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) BAHA to an undisclosed African country. BAHA is a small, fixed-wing UAV that is designed for tactical-level reconnaissance, surveillance, and intelligence missions. It is equipped with a variety of sensors, including a camera and a thermal imager, and it can be used to gather information about the surrounding area.
Although, HAVELSAN did not reveal the name of the country to which BAHA will be exported, the contract’s cost, the number of unmanned aerial vehicles included, or the delivery schedule.
However, Nigerian sources revealed the system as part of the $36.5m Project carried out by ASISGUARD for the MOD.
The company exhibited its Ground, Naval, and Aerial solutions for the African continent’s defence and security forces at the Africa Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, which was held in Pretoria, South Africa on September 21-25, 2022.
According to the company’s statement at the time, many African countries, including Botswana, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, and South Africa, expressed interest in the BAHA drone displayed at the fair.
Recently at the IDEF 2023, 16th International Defence Industry Fair in Turkey, Asisguard inked a strategic cooperation agreement with Nurol Makina and Havelsan intended to actualise the scope of the contract signed by the Nigerian MOD and the consortium of Turkish defence companies led by Asisguard. Nurol Makina will supply its Yörük 4×4 tactical vehicle.
The export of BAHA to Africa is the first for the system. Havelsan is also in talks with other countries in Africa about potential exports of BAHA.
The BAHA is a versatile UAV that can be used for a variety of missions. It is well-suited for use in border security, where it can be used to monitor the border and detect illegal activity. It can also be used in counter-insurgency operations, where it can be used to track and target enemy combatants.
The export of BAHA and Togan UAVs to Africa is a sign of the growing importance of the African market for UAVs. UAVs are increasingly being used by African countries to improve their security and surveillance capabilities. Havelsan and STM are well-positioned to capitalize on this growing market, as it has a strong track record of exporting UAVs to African countries.
Speaking about the first BAHA export, HAVELSAN product development and production director Veysel Ataoğlu stated that they had participated in several fairs abroad and provided information about their products, adding, “There were countries that we had serious talks with, especially in the African region. Before the IDEF (International Defense Industry Fair), we invited these countries. We carried out various test activities in accordance with their requests. And today, we exported BAHA to an African country, and our vehicles will be delivered there soon.”
“BAHA opened its wings to Africa. After the first member of our Digital Unit Technology, the unmanned ground vehicle BARKAN joined the Turkish Armed Forces’ inventory, the first export of the Sub-Cloud Unmanned Aerial Vehicle BAHA, the second member of the family, was also made to Africa. Our thanks go to our employees and stakeholders, Asisguard, Dönmezoğlu Bilişim, SIO Aerospace Industry, and TUALCOM, for their contributions to our development process,” the company said in a statement.
This is not the first time that Turkish ASISGUARD has been awarded a contract in Nigeria. In October last year, the Turkish company supplied at least 10 Songar armed drones to Nigerian counter-terror forces. SONGAR Armed Drone System can perform tasks such as target area detection, threat neutralization, post-operative damage detection and real-time image transmission.
The military relationship between Turkey and Nigeria is one that has continued to grow over the years, driven by mutual interests in security and stability in the region.
In recent years, the military relationship between Turkey and Nigeria has strengthened, particularly in the areas of defence procurement and counter-terrorism. Turkey has provided Nigeria with military hardware, including drones and armoured vehicles, to help the country fight against Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.
In 2018, Turkey and Nigeria signed a defence agreement that aimed to enhance their military cooperation. The agreement included provisions for joint military training, intelligence sharing, and defence production. Two years later, the Nigerian Army and its Turkish counterpart pledged to strengthen military bilateral relations between both countries to tackle terrorism.
The agreement was announced on Monday 30 August 2021, when the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Hidaye Bayraktar paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.
Last year, Nigeria and Turkey entered talks on defence collaboration in counter-terrorism support as well as the acquisition of various military hardware which may include attack helicopters, armed drones, and other infantry systems. Fly Bvlos Technology, a subsidiary of Coşkunöz Holding operating in Gebze Technical University Dronepark, exported 30 Delta UAVs to Nigeria. ASISGUARD exported SONGAR armed drone to Nigerian Police.