Saturday, April 20, 2024

Bell secures $455M contract for AH-1Z helicopters for Nigeria

The U.S. Department of Defense has announced a contract award to Bell, a division of Textron, for the production and delivery of 12 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters to the government of Nigeria.

Valued at $455 million, this procurement deal underscores the commitment to enhancing Nigeria’s defense capabilities and fostering regional security cooperation.

Under the terms of the contract, Bell will provide not only the AH-1Z Viper helicopters but also associated engineering, program management, logistics support, and non-recurring engineering for obsolescence. The manufacturing and delivery of these helicopters will be carried out in Fort Worth and Amarillo, Texas, with completion expected by July 2028.


The approval of Nigeria’s helicopter request by the U.S. State Department in April 2022 paved the way for this significant procurement. The package includes essential equipment such as guidance systems, night vision imaging systems, and comprehensive training programs for Nigerian personnel.

According to the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, this acquisition will not only bolster Nigeria’s defense capabilities but also contribute to shared security objectives, regional stability, and interoperability with the United States and other Western partners. The sale aligns with U.S. foreign policy goals and national security objectives, enhancing the security of a strategic partner in sub-Saharan Africa.

The AH-1Z Viper, a twin-engine attack helicopter, represents the latest advancement in the renowned Bell Huey family. Based on the AH-1W SuperCobra platform, it boasts advanced capabilities and modern features essential for combat operations. With its designation as the “Zulu Cobra,” this helicopter symbolizes Nigeria’s commitment to modernizing its defense forces and safeguarding its national security interests.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more