RBC, August 24, 2016, p. 11
Russia is going to sell combat helicopters to Nigeria
RUSSIA WILL SUPPLY HELICOPTERS MI-35M AND MI-171SH TO NIGERIA
Helicopters of Russia will supply helicopters Mi-35M and Mi-171SH to Nigeria. The first helicopters Mi-35M will be supplied to the customer in November of 2016, Punch reported.
Helicopters of Russia will supply 15 helicopters Mi-35M and Mi-171SH to Nigeria. Russian Center for Analysis of the World Arms Trade (CAWAT) reported this with reference to Nigerian newspaper Punch. According to the newspaper, Nigeria will order 15 strike helicopters for protection of objects of oil extraction and refining in the delta of Niger in a few years.
Punch says that three Mi-35M will be delivered in November of 2016 but the newspaper does not know which quantity of Mi-171SH will be supplied to Nigeria by Russia. CAWAT specialists presume that Russia will supply 12 strike helicopters Mi-35M and three military transport helicopters Mi-171SH.
Earlier, on August 18 commander of the air force of Nigeria Marshal Sadique Abubakar reported in an interview to Nigerian television channel NTA that in the near future the air force of Nigeria would receive 12 new strike helicopters Mi-35 from Russia. The Nigerian commander did not speak about the quantity of Mi-171SH too.
The press service of Helicopters of Russia refused to comment on the supply explaining that this activity belonged to Rosoboronexport. Director of the press service of Rosoboronexport Vyacheslav Davidenko also refused to commend “due to confidentiality reasons” that were a part of the agreements between Nigeria and Russia.
Information about the helicopters bought by Nigeria appeared in the annual report of Rostvertol for 2014. The document spoke about a contract on supply of six helicopters Mi-35M signed in August of 2014. In 2014, deputy director of the international department of Rostec Serge Goreslavsky confirmed existence of an agreement with Nigeria on supply of combat helicopters during ADEX-2014 show. International Institute of Strategies Studies (IISS) reported about ordering of these Mi-171SH in Military Balance 2016 report. Experts of the institute reported about six combat helicopters and not about three.
Proceeding from amounts of the previous deals with other countries, modernization of the helicopter fleet will cost Nigeria approximately $200 million. Russia signed a similar deal in 2008 with Brazil. For supply of 12 strike helicopters Mi-35M Brazil paid about $150 million. In July of 2015, Mi-35 helicopters were purchased for state needs by the Federal Security Service. According to the documentation, the starting (maximal) price of the state contract on supply of five helicopters amounted to 2.83 billion rubles. Thus, one helicopter of this modification cost the Russian budget 556.6 million rubles (about $8.5 million). In 2013, Peru bought 24 helicopters Mi-171SH for $16.9 million each.
Director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Ruslan Pukhov presumes that supply of helicopters to Nigeria may become a good chance for Helicopters of Russia. Pukhov explains, “The corporation has accelerated production facilities to the maximum in the last few years. Bearing in mind, that in the next few years the Defense Ministry stops purchases in the framework of the state defense order, Nigerian contract will help the company to avoid downtime.” According to the expert, conversations about supplying of helicopters of Nigeria lasted since the 2000s. Pukhov adds, ‘Conversations were always about three or four helicopters for the Nigerian army. That is why such big order is a definite victory.”