Procurement: Refurbishing Corrupted Aircraft


October 29, 2007: The Nigerian Air Force is spending $1.2 billion to refurbish several dozen aircraft that had been out of service because of lack of maintenance. Nigeria is one of the most corrupt nations on the planet, and this extends to the military. For decades, corrupt officers have diverted money, meant for aircraft maintenance, to their own use. Eventually, the aircraft were unsafe to fly, and were just parked somewhere. The refurbishment program was introduced because it was seen as too expensive to simply purchase new aircraft (which would soon be inoperable because of maintenance issues.)

Two years ago, the air force purchased 15 Chinese F-7 fighters (a clone of the Russian MiG-21) for $15 million each, to replace 32 MiG21's and 18 Jaguars that are grounded, for lack of maintenance (and are being scraped).

But there were many non-combat aircraft for which there were no inexpensive clones available. This included eight C-130 transports. Five are these are being refurbished to "like new" condition, while three are considered too far gone for even that.


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