Africa Defense Forum
ADF is a professional military magazine published quarterly by U.S. Africa Command to provide an international forum for African security professionals. ADF covers topics such as counter terrorism strategies, security and defense operations, transnational crime, and all other issues affecting peace, stability, and good governance on the African continent.

Nigeria Using Tethered Drones for Security


Tethered drones are making life easier for Nigerian law enforcement authorities responsible for securing the border and fighting crime and terrorism.

The equipment comes from drone company Elistair, which has supplied Orion tethered unmanned aerial vehicles to Nigerian police, a company statement said.

The company delivered the drones, along with training in Abuja, at the beginning of the year, and “tethered drones are now deployed daily.”

Police use Orions to successfully identify armed terrorist groups, using observation and threat detection during 24-hour flights.

“Drones assist police to monitor active crime scenes, coordinate response operations and provide aerial support to responding officers,” a Nigerian police spokesman said.

Deployable in minutes and easily transportable, Orion drones let operators speedily create a discreet checkpoint with minimal logistical support. The Orion can remain on station for 50 hours and, with a 100-meter Kevlar tether, is immune to jamming. Its dual electro-optical/infrared sensor is suitable for day and night missions and has a detection range of 10 kilometers. The drones have a total takeoff weight of 10.5 kilograms. If the tether fails it can parachute to the ground.

Elistair opened an office in Côte d’Ivoire in April 2021 to increase its presence and proximity to West African customers. The company has supplied drones to more than 70 countries worldwide from its locations in Africa, France and the United States.

Nigerian police have been expanding their drone inventory and have received a small batch of Songar armed unmanned aerial vehicles from Turkey’s Asisguard.

Unveiled in 2019, the Songar multicopter can be fitted with an assault rifle, 40 mm grenade launcher or 81 mm mortar. It also can be fitted with a day/night camera stabilizer and laser range finder. An electronic sight and ballistic calculation module help with weapon deployment and recoil management.

Nigerian police are expected to use the Songar against armed gangs and bandits, which have recently caused havoc in several states. The Nigerian Police Force also has taken delivery of ALTI Transition drones from South Africa.

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