To complement the existing Russian Mil Mi-24/35 Hind and Agusta A109 Power light attack helicopters currently in service, Nigeria is scouting the global market for procuring helicopters for its Army and Air Force. There is a requirement of around 12 twin engine attack helicopters which will be acquired through a global tender. The military of the African nation needs these attack helicopters in an effort to increase its firepower and to strengthen the country’s counterterrorism and counterinsurgency campaigns.
Why does it need attack helicopters?
They will be used to fire at ground and air targets, like small drones and armoured vehicles and also in SAR activities.
Global manufacturers in race
HAL, Airbus and Turkey’s TAI have been identified by Nigeria.
Nigeria could look at a Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) from HAL. Both the Indian Army and the Air Force have placed their orders for these helicopters. These helicopters have the capability of being deployed in various operations like insurgency, Search and Rescue operations, destroying army defences.
T-129 of TAI
T-129 ATAK helicopter, which is powered by two LHTEC T800-4A turboshaft engines, is in the race, and it is based on the A129 Angusta.
According to reports, it is offeringTiger HAD which is a multi-purpose attack helicopter and is designed to carry out armed reconnaissance, anti-tank warfare and destruction, air-to-air combat, ground fire support, air or ground escort, day or night and in adverse conditions.
HAL to train Nigerian Army Aviation officers
Six officers of Nigerian Army Aviation will be trained on Chetak Helicopters at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bengaluru.
A contract was signed by HAL with the Nigerian Army for imparting Phase-II flying training on the Chetak Helicopter. This is in continuation of the contract that was signed between the two sides last April for Phase I of the training for six Nigerian Army Aviation officers. This part of the training was successfully concluded in December 2021.
Phase II flying training on Chetak Helicopter has started from today and is expected to be completed by December 2022. Under the schedule, each of the six officers will get 70 hours of flying training.
The contract for training was signed by BK Tripathy, General Manager, Helicopter Division and Commodore Anthony Victor Kujoh, Defence Adviser, High Commission of Nigeria in India.
“Platforms such as Advanced Light Helicopter and Light Utility Helicopter which have a wide range of capabilities can be of great strength for the Nigerian Army,” said Mr Tripathy.
According to Cmdre Kujoh, his country is also interested in building a relationship with HAL towards asset acquisition.