Feb 10, 2015

Nigeria looking for more attack aircraft

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has received a proposal from a defence company for the sale of six Puma gunship helicopters, four Sukhoi Su-25KM ground attack jets, and two upgraded Su-25UB trainers.
According reports unidentified company had "reached an agreement with the NAF to substitute the initial order for Cobra AH-1V with alternative attack platforms".
The US State Department confirmed in November 2014 that it had blocked a deal to sell Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters to Nigeria because of concerns about its military's human rights record and ability to operate the aircraft. The Nigerian press reported that the attack helicopters would have been ex-Israeli Air Force Cobras.
The only Pumas upgraded into gunships were Romanian-built IAR 330s that were converted into the SOCAT armed version with a chin-mounted 20 mm gun and Rafael Spike guided missiles with the help of the Israeli company Elbit Systems between 2000 and 2005.
Elbit Systems was also involved in the Su-25KM 'Scorpion' upgrade programme along with Georgia's Tblisi Aircraft Manufacturing company.

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