Attack helicopters: Why US trainers will spend 24 months in Nigeria

Attack helicopters. Photo credit: Thenewsmatrix

Soon, more coordinated attacks will be on terrorists, bandits and other desperados in Nigeria. This is because of America’s proposed sale of 12 AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters to Nigeria. For this, the US will make sure its representatives or those of the contractors should reside in the country for two years. This is to enable them to have time for training and logistics.

This is contained in a statement by the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency on its website, on Thursday. It was entitled, ‘Nigeria – AH-1Z Attack Helicopter Related FMS Acquisitions’. It said the potential sale was required by law and that Congress had been notified of the possible transaction.

It said the State Department had “decided to approve 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 $997m.”

The statement named the principal contractors as Bell Helicopter, Textron, Fort Worth, TX; and General Electric Company, Lynn, MA, saying the proposed sale would better equip Nigeria to contribute to shared security objectives, promote regional stability and build interoperability with the US and other western partners.

On the need to deploy representatives of either the US government or the contractors in Nigeria, the statement partly read, “Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of US Government or contractor representatives to Nigeria for mobile training teams and contract logistics support.

“The case will include special training on the law of armed conflict and human rights and air-to-ground integration to minimise civilian harm in air operations. This proposed sale will also require multiple trips by US Government and contractor representatives to participate in the programme and technical reviews plus training and maintenance support in the country, temporarily, for five years.

“It will also require approximately three contractor support representatives to reside in the country for two years to support this programme.”

“The description and dollar value are 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.”