United States approves sale of attack helicopters to Nigeria
The United States may have approved the sale of military equipment to Nigeria worth $997 million after U.S. lawmakers lifted objections over human rights concerns.
The Defence Security Cooperation Agency, which announced the sale of the helicopters and related defence systems to the Nigerian military last Thursday, said the weapons include 12 attack helicopters, 2,000 advanced precision kill weapon system guidance sections and a night vision imaging system.
U.S. reportedly denied Nigeria’s request over human rights concerns by the military, a claim the Federal Government refuted.
However, the United States reportedly said the sale of the weapons was part of efforts to boost security for Nigeria.
“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Nigeria of AH-1Z Attack Helicopter Related FMS Acquisitions and related equipment for an estimated cost of $997 million,” the statement partly read.
It added: “The Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
“The Government of Nigeria has requested to buy 12 AH-1Z Attack Helicopters; 28 T-700 GE 401C engines (24 installed, four spares) and 2,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) guidance sections. Also included is Night Vision Cueing Display (NVCD); commercial variant GPS with Standard Positioning Service (SPS); communication equipment; electronic warfare systems; AN/AVS-9 Aviator’s Night Vision Imaging System; M197 20mm machine gun; Target Sight System (TSS); support equipment; spare engine containers; spare and repair parts; tools and test equipment; technical data and publications; personnel training and training equipment; Mission Planning system.
U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistics support services; U.S. Government and contractor assistance and oversight of facilities construction to include the provisioning of plans, drawings and specifications.
“$25M of case funds will be allocated for institutional and technical assistance to the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to continue Air-Ground Integration (AGI) programme, which includes developing targeting processes that are legally compliant with International Humanitarian Law and the Laws of Armed Conflict; and other related elements of logistics and programme support. The total estimated programme cost is $997 million.
“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.
“The proposed 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. This sale will be a major contribution to U.S. and Nigerian security goals. Nigeria will have no difficulty absorbing the equipment and services into its armed forces.
“The proposed sale of this equipment will not alter the basic military balance in the region. The principal contractors will be Bell Helicopter, Textron, Fort Worth, TX; and General Electric Company, Lynn, MA. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.
“This notice of a potential sale is required by law. The description and dollar value is for the highest estimated quantity and dollar value based on initial requirements. Actual dollar value will be lower depending on final requirements, budget authority and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded.”