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Bell Textron to Supply 12 AH-1Z Viper Helicopters to Nigeria

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The U.S. Navy has awarded Bell Textron a $455 million contract to deliver 12 AH-1Z Viper helicopters to Nigeria under the Foreign Military Sales program.

Contract work also includes engineering, program management and logistics support and non-recurring engineering for obsolescence, Defense .gov reported. Work will be performed in Fort Worth and Amarillo, Texas, through July 2028.

AH-1Z is a twin-engine attack helicopter designed to operate and hit targets in extreme environments. It features a weapon system that can carry two AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and 16 air-to-ground missiles. The aircraft has a maximum speed of 200 knots and an operational range of 310 nautical miles.

The Department of State approved the Nigerian government’s request to procure the helicopters in April 2022. The request included other military equipment, including T-700 GE 401C engines, Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System guidance sections and the AN/AVS-9 Aviator’s Night Vision Imaging System.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said at the time that the sale of the aircraft and other military equipment would help promote stability in sub-Saharan Africa and enable Nigeria to build interoperability with the U.S. and other Western partners, contributing to shared security goals.

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