The Nigerian army today took delivery of a large consignment of artillery munitions. The consignment was received by Olufemi Akinjobi, the Chairman of the Ammunition Reception Committee at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. Information on the country of origin of these munitions is not available.
The Nigerian army is deficient in many areas, but the one area the Nigerian army has not allowed to atrophy is in its artillery battalions. Nigerian artillery men are considered among the continent’s best. The importance of artillery fire was exemplified during the invasion of Bama.
In 2015 after three failed attempts, soldiers from the 103rd Battalion made a 4th attempt to take the city of Bama. Bama was a strategic town. It was what stood in thr way between troops of the 7th Infantry Division and the Sambisa forest, the impregnable fortress of Boko Haram. Then strategic importance of Bama was not lost on Boko Haram, who had six months to build defences and dug in.
But this time around men of the 103rd Battalion was going to take a different approach. While Boko Haram fighters built defences and massed fighters, Nigerian army Field Artillery Regiment were massing heavy artillery 13 miles from Bama.
SHOCK & AWE !
Twenty four hours before the invasion field artillery guns bombarded the town for hours unend. At night.
If Boko Haram fighters thought their ordeal was over, they were in for a surprise.
During the assault the next day the army’s Field Artillery Regiment provided artillery support to the 103rd Battalion, launching barrages of artillery shells. Bama fell in less than 72 hours.
A new weapon that the Nigerian army introduced into combat for the first time was the RM-70 Multiple Launch Rocket System, an upgraded version of the BM-21 Grad, with greater range and explosive power. Used at night Nigerian soldiers nearby took notice, to put it mildly, as the rockets screamed past the sound barrier on their way out of the launcher and then roared away from the firing point at night.
The first launch created panic in the Nigerian camp. Soldiers that had never seen an MLRS at night dove into cover and tried to dig hasty foxholes. It scared the pure hell put of everyone. Needless to say the army made the decision to use MLRS systems at night.
The Palnaria 155 Self Propelled Howitzer is one of the biggest gun in the Nigerian army artillery arsenal.