Nigeria Buys 12 US Viper Helos: AGR-20 PGMs, M197 20mm Cannon

ABUJA, ($1=415.26 Nigerian Nairas) — The United States has decided to approve a possible foreign military sale [FMS] to Nigeria regarding the AH-1Z Attack Helicopter.

The FMS in question includes the sale of 12 AH-1Z Attack Helicopters to Nigeria. In case the agreement is realized, Nigeria will purchase 12 AH-1Z Helicopters, 28 T-700GE401C Engines, 2000 APKWS Guidance Kits, AN/AV-9 Night Vision System, M197 20mm Nose Cannon, Aiming System, and additional equipment with an estimated cost of 997 million USD with including services.

The sale will also require multiple trips from U.S. Government and contractor representatives to attend program and whitepapers, and temporary training and maintenance support for 5 years. In addition, 3 contractor representatives will need to reside in the country for two approximately 2 years to support this program.

The AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopter was developed by Bell Helicopter Textron of the USA to meet the requirements of the United States Marine Corps. With an almost fully armored cockpit, the AH-1Z is among the leading attack helicopters in the world.

Viper is the latest model in the AH-1 series. The AH-1Z Viper, which has been in service since 2010, can operate with a maximum weight of 8.4 tons. The helicopter, which can reach a maximum speed of 410 km/h, has a range of 425 km and an altitude ceiling of 6000 meters.