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US approves sales of $1 bln in military equipment for Nigeria to combat terrorism

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The United States has approved the sale of military equipment worth an estimated $997 million to Nigeria in a bid to help the country combat growing terrorism.

In a statement issued on Thursday by the US department of defence, the weapons include 12 attack helicopters, 2,000 advanced precision kill weapon system guidance sections, and night vision imaging system.

The approval comes after months of back and forth on the matter, with the US initially reported to have denied Nigeria’s request over human rights concerns.

According to the statement, the US said the sale of the weapons is 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 reads.

“The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

“The Government of Nigeria has requested to buy twelve (12) AH-1Z Attack Helicopters; twenty-eight (28) T-700 GE 401C engines (24 installed, 4 spares); and two thousand (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.

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“$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) program, 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 program support. The total estimated program 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.

“Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of U.S. 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 minimize civilian harm in air operations.

“This proposed sale will also require multiple trips by U.S. Government and contractor representatives to participate in program and technical reviews plus training and maintenance support in country, on a temporary basis, for a period of five (5) years. It will also require approximately three (3) contractor support representatives to reside in country for a period of two (2) years to support this program.

“There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defence readiness as a result of this proposed 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,” the US government said in the statement.

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