Nigeria Acquires Turkish BAHA and TOGAN Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAVs

On August 30, 2023, the Nigerian Armed Forces acquired TOGAN and BAHA Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from Turkish defense companies. This acquisition is part of Nigeria's broader strategy to modernize its defense capabilities, particularly in the areas of surveillance and intelligence. This reinforcement comes as tensions between ECOWAS and the military dictatorships in the Sahel region show no signs of abating.
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Togan UAV produced and delivered to Nigeria by STM (Picture source: STM )

Turkey has become a key player in the global UAV market, with its drones gaining notoriety for their effectiveness in various conflict zones, notably its famous Bayraktar in Ukraine. Nigeria, facing challenges ranging from counter-terrorism to border security, has increasingly turned to Turkey to meet its UAV needs.

Supplied by Turkish defense company STM, the TOGAN UAVs are small, rotary-wing drones designed for tactical-level reconnaissance and surveillance. These UAVs are equipped with a variety of sensors, including cameras and thermal imagers. As part of a $36.5 million project with ASISGUARD and the Nigerian Ministry of Defense, this marks the second international export of the TOGAN system, with STM also in discussions for potential exports to other African nations.

Havelsan, another Turkish defense and informatics company, has also exported its BAHA UAVs to an undisclosed African country, believed to be Nigeria. Like the TOGAN, the BAHA is a small, fixed-wing UAV equipped for tactical-level reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

The acquisition of these UAVs is not an isolated event but part of a larger pattern of military cooperation between Turkey and Nigeria. Last year, ASISGUARD supplied at least 10 armed Songar drones to Nigerian counter-terrorism units. Both nations have also pledged to strengthen their military relations, focusing on areas such as joint training, intelligence sharing, and defense production.

There have also been rumors about the Nigerian Armed Forces purchasing Russian T-90 tanks, as we reported on Army Recognition on August 25, 2023.

Nigeria continues to strengthen its armed forces with multiple deliveries of foreign vehicles, but it is not just a buyer. Nigeria has indeed launched licensed production of Chinese Dong Feng CSK-131 MRAP vehicles. Recent tensions with military regimes in the Sahel, such as Niger, Mali, or Burkina Faso, have clearly accelerated Nigeria's procurement of equipment.