The US Department of Defense (DoD) has confirmed the sale of 12 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters to Nigeria.
A $7.7-million contract was also awarded to Northrop Grumman in December to provide 32 mission computers for the Bell helicopters.
The contract is expected to be completed in June 2024.
Following the contract award, the US State Department stated in January that Nigeria had paid the first installment.
The State Department approved Abuja’s helicopter request in April 2022, including guidance, night vision imaging systems, and training.
It “will better equip Nigeria to contribute to shared security objectives, promote regional stability and build interoperability with the US and other Western partners,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a strategic partner in sub-Saharan Africa.”
List of Aircraft
The multi-role aircraft is capable of reconnaissance, escort, and strike missions.
It joins 54 manned and unmanned military aircraft Nigeria has sought to deal with multiple security challenges, including an Islamist insurgency and banditry.
The platforms approved for procurement include m-346 attack aircraft, T-129 ATAK helicopters, Agusta 109 Trekker multi-role helicopters, and Chinese-made Wing Loong II drones.