AfricaAirDOD Contracts

Bell Textron Wins $455M AH-1Z Viper Helicopter Contract for Nigeria

Bell Textron has been awarded a $455-million contract to deliver 12 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters to Nigeria.

Announced by the US Department of Defense, the deal also covers associated engineering, program management, and logistics support.

Work for the contract will be performed in Texas, with an expected completion date of July 2028.

The US State Department first approved the sale in 2022, but the estimated cost it originally revealed was nearly $1 billion.

Once delivered, the Viper helicopters are expected to enhance Nigeria’s air defense capabilities and help uphold regional stability.

They will also bolster the country’s interoperability with the US and other Western partners, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

About the Viper

Based on the AH-1W SuperCobra, the AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine helicopter that serves as the US Marine Corps’ primary rotor-wing ground attack aircraft.

It can perform close air support, aerial reconnaissance, and other military missions in the most extreme environments.

The Viper can carry a two-person crew (a pilot and a co-pilot/gunner) and fly at a maximum speed of 200 knots (370 kilometers/230 miles per hour).

It also has an operational range of 310 nautical miles (257 miles/574 kilometers) and can support missions day or night.

Bell Textron describes the AH-1Z as the only attack chopper in the world with fully integrated air-to-air missile capability, thanks to the AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles attached to its weapons bay.

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