Documents published late August in the US Federal Register, according to a report by the website www.defenceweb.co.za say Paveway
11 guided bombs, laser-guided rockets and infrared sensors are being
sold to Nigeria by the United States government, along with the 12 Super
Tucano fighter jets, expected to aid the military in ending the eight
year-old Boko Haram insurgency in the north east.
US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 3 August announced the
possible Foreign Military Sale of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, along
with weapons, spares and training, to Nigeria in a contract that could
be worth $593 million. Congress was notified on 2 August.
Federal Register revealed Nigeria has requested Paveway II and Advanced
Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guidance kits and
ammunition. It lists these items as “major defence equipment” valued at
$29 million, while the “other” component of the deal, for the Super
Tucanos, sensors, training and support, is valued at $564 million.
weapons and ammunition includes 100 GBU-12 (500 lb) Paveway II
Tailkits; 100 GBU-58 (250 lb) Paveway II Tailkits; 400 Laser Guided
Rockets including Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) rounds; 2
000 MK-81 (250 lb) bombs; 5 000 2.75 inch (70 mm) Hydra 70 unguided
rockets; 1 000 2.75 inch Hydra 70 unguided rockets (practice); and 20
000 rounds of .50 calibre machinegun ammunition.
APKWS is a low cost semi-active laser guidance kit developed by BAE
Systems which is added to unguided 70 mm rockets, turning them into
precision strike weapons. Similarly, the Paveway II, developed by
Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, uses semi-active laser guidance to turn Mk
81 and Mk 82 general purpose bombs into guided weapons. The DSCA said
the sale includes the tailkits to transform Nigeria’s existing 500-lb
and 250-lb bomb bodies into GBU-12s and GBU-58s respectively, and that
Nigeria is also buying additional GBU-58s/Mk 81 bombs.
proposed sale also includes seven AN/AAQ-22F electro-optical/infrared
(EO/IR) sensor and laser designator turrets, spares, support equipment,
facilities infrastructure and hangar construction, night vision devices,
simulators, and software. Training will cover pilot and maintenance
instruction and human rights and international humanitarian law. FLIR’s
Brite Star system comprises a large format thermal imager and colour
daylight camera with laser designator for terminal guidance of
laser-guided bombs and rockets.
DSCA notice said the 12 Super Tucanos “will support Nigerian military
operations against terrorist organisation Boko Haram and to counter
illicit trafficking in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea. The Super Tucano
is a sustainable platform for counterterrorism, counter insurgency,
border surveillance, and illicit trade interdiction operations. The
proposed sale will support U.S. foreign policy objectives by helping
Nigeria to meet shared counterterrorism objectives for the region. This
proposed sale will strengthen the U.S. security relationship with
Africa’s largest democracy.”
prime contractor is the Sierra Nevada Corporation, headquartered in
Centennial, Colorado. The company is building Super Tucanos for the
Afghan Air Force and Lebanon at its US facility.
has recorded a number of orders for its Super Tucano from African
countries, which see it as a low cost light attack aircraft that can
also be used as a trainer. On the continent, the Super Tucano has been
ordered by Angola, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Ghana and Senegal.
Nigerian Air Force may also get second hand Super Tucanos – in February
the Nigerian Air Force announced that Brazilian government had approved
the sale of three second hand Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria.