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US approves sale of $1bn attack choppers, equipment to Nigeria

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The United States Government has approved the sale of AH-1Z Attack Helicopter Related FMS Acquisitions and related equipment to Nigeria.

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The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), under the Department of Defense, has delivered the certification, notifying Congress of the $1 billion deal.

Nigeria has requested to buy 12 AH-1Z Attack Helicopters, 28 T-700 GE 401C engines (24 installed, 4 spares), and 2,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) guidance sections.

Others are communication equipment, electronic warfare systems, AN/AVS-9 Aviator’s Night Vision Imaging System, M197 20mm machine gun, and Target Sight System (TSS).

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Night Vision Cueing Display (NVCD), commercial variant GPS with Standard Positioning Service (SPS), spare engine containers, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment were also ordered.

America will provide technical data and publications, personnel training and training equipment, a Mission Planning system, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, contractor assistance and oversight of facilities construction.

The breakdown shows that $25 million will be allocated for institutional and technical assistance to the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to continue the Air Ground Integration (AGI) program.

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This comprises developing targeting processes that are legally compliant with International Humanitarian Law and the Laws of Armed Conflict, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

A statement by DSCA said the sale will better equip Nigeria to contribute to shared security objectives, promote regional stability and build interoperability with the U.S. and other Western partners.

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It listed the principal contractors as Bell Helicopter, Textron, Fort Worth, TX; and General Electric Company, Lynn, MA.

Nigeria paid around $462 million for twelve Tucanos and other equipment in 2018, six built with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) system.

The powerful turboprops are being used for missions against terrorists in North-East and North-West regions.

The U.S. Government confirmed it was the largest defence sale to an African country.

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