Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria inducted a single Mi-171E and two AW109M helicopters in the fleet of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) which will be deployed to the northeast and assist other military operations across the country on 6 February. The Nigerian Air Force announced in January that two new AW109Ms and been delivered but its procurement of the Mi-171E was previously unreported. This is an export version of the Russian military’s Mi-8AMT with VK-2500-03 engines, making it appropriate for hot-and-high conditions. Russia’s Rosoboronexport defence export agency announced in September 2014 that Nigeria had ordered six Mi-171Sh (the export version of the Mi-8AMTSh) and six Mi-35M helicopters.
Mi-171E is an advanced, multi-purpose helicopter produced by Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, a part of Russian Helicopters. Developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, the helicopter is a modern export variant of the Mi-8 medium multi-mission helicopter. The Mi-171E helicopters can be deployed in search-and-rescue (SAR) missions, disaster response, forest fire-fighting and medical assistance in the field. The helicopter is designed to fly in adverse weather conditions and is also equipped for special operations during night time. The redundant flight controls and onboard equipment make the helicopter highly-effective during missions in mountainous regions and in hot climates.
AW109 Military (AW109M) is a lightweight, twin-engine, eight-seat multi-purpose helicopter built by the Italian manufacturer Leonardo S.p.A. (formerly AgustaWestland, merged into the new Finmeccanica since 2016). AW109M is a proven, cost effective, multi-role helicopter already in service with several Armed Forces around the world. A wide range of mission equipment, including internal and external weapon systems, combined with outstanding flight performance, enables the AW109M to accomplish missions in the harshest environments. The aircraft compact external dimensions enhance maritime operations and assure C-130 aircraft class transportability.
The Nigerian Air Force was expecting three Nigerian Air Force JF-17 Thunder jet fighters and 12 EMB 314/A-29 Super Tucano light attack turboprops. In October 2018 Pakistan approved of the sale and local Nigerian production of three JF-17s for US$184.3 million. The aircraft are rumored to be of a later version than the initially agreed sale, providing more advanced systems. In November 2018, Nigeria purchased 12 Super Tucanos from Sierra Nevada for $329 million, six of which are to be fitted with forward-looking infrared systems. The aircraft are scheduled to be completed in May 2024.