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Nigeria cleared to buy AH-1Z attack helicopters

AH-1Z Viper for Nigeria
Illustration: US Marine Corps file photo of an AH-1Z Viper at RAAF Base Darwin, Australia.

The US State Department announced it has approved the possible sale of AH-1Z attack helicopters to Nigeria for an estimated cost of $997 million.

The Nigerian government requested to buy a total of 12 AH-1Z helicopters, as well as 2,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) guidance sections.

Also included in the potential deal are night vision cueing displays (NVCD), communication equipment, electronic warfare systems, and M197 20mm machine guns, and other supporting equipment and services.

Should a definitive agreement be reached, $25M of case funds would be allocated for institutional and technical assistance to the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to continue the air ground integration (AGI) program, which includes developing targeting processes that are legally compliant with International Humanitarian Law and the Laws of Armed Conflict.

“The proposed sale 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 said in a release.

The principal contractors on the acquisition would be Bell Helicopter, the manufacturer of the helicopter, and General Electric.