Ruslan Pukhov, Director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, has reported Nigeria’s Mi-34 fleet disposal, according to Russian press agency RIA Novosti.Â This is part of a wider disposal program which includes 25 MiG-21 jets, which were replaced by Chinese-built F-7Ns in 2010.
While the fighter jets are being disposed due to airframe age, the helicopters are less than ten years old with Nigeria having acquired them in 2002 for ab initio pilot training.Â The problem has centred on the main rotor gearboxes, which have a maintenance schedule of 1500 hours from the manufacturer.Â However, the experience of the Nigerian Air Force is that the bulk of these gearboxse have failed within 300 hours, and have consequently the Mi-34 fleet became hangar-bound.
Nikolai Vanesev – HeliHub.com Moscow correspondent
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