In a significant move to enhance Nigeria’s military capabilities in the face of escalating security challenges, the United States Department of Defense has confirmed a groundbreaking arms sale to Nigeria.
The deal, valued at $1 billion, includes the acquisition of 12 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, a formidable addition to Nigeria’s military assets.
The contract also encompasses 32 mission computers supplied by Northrop Grumman, with an additional contract valued at $7.7 million awarded in December to further bolster Nigeria’s defence capabilities.
The U.S. State Department approved the sale in April 2022.
Nigeria has been grappling with multifaceted security threats, including the persistent Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast and rampant banditry in the northwest.
The acquisition of the state-of-the-art AH-1Z Viper helicopters, scheduled for completion in June 2024, marks a crucial step in fortifying Nigeria’s military prowess to address these complex security challenges.
The AH-1Z Viper is a versatile attack helicopter designed for various missions, including reconnaissance, escort, and strike operations.
Nigeria’s ongoing military procurement strategy includes a range of sophisticated weaponry, such as m-346 attack aircraft, T-129 ATAK helicopters, Agusta 109 Trekker multi-role helicopters, and Chinese-made Wing Loong II drones.
Military experts say the acquisition of the AH-1Z Viper helicopters aligns with Nigeria’s broader effort to address and counteract the diverse security threats within its borders.