Leonardo to Deliver M-346 Jets to Nigerian Air Force

Leonardo has signed a deal to deliver 24 M-346 transonic jets to the Nigerian Air Force.

The contract will see the Italian company deliver the aircraft in tranches of six, with the first batch expected to arrive by the end of 2024.

The M-346 will be integrated as an advanced pilot training capability, as well as a multi-role aircraft for close air support, air interdiction, and tactical reconnaissance.

Leonardo will provide maintenance support for the fleet for a minimum of 25 years. The firm will also actively coordinate with the force in the program’s pilot and engineer training efforts.

Nigeria’s partnership with Leonardo is part of a wider modernization effort to address the ongoing Islamist insurgency in the region.

Modernizing Nigeria’s Fleet

Part of Nigeria’s efforts to bolster its defenses include a partnership with Indonesia detailing joint production plans and sales for military equipment, as well as the delivery of four CN235-220 transport aircraft.

The US Department of Defense also recently confirmed a sale of 12 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters to the country.

The $1-billion deal is expected to be completed in June.

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