Nigeria to receive new attack aircraft and helicopters, drones

ABUJA, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Nigeria is expecting to take delivery of 54 new air assets, including attack aircraft and helicopters as well as aerial drones, to boost its capabilities to fight insecurity in the country, Chief of Air Staff Marshal Amao said on Thursday.

A 13-year-old Islamist insurgency in the northeast and kidnappings for ransom by gunmen in the northwest are Nigeria's biggest security threats that will confront the country's next leader after a presidential election in February.

Amao said President Muhammadu Buhari approved the delivery to the Nigerian Air Force of m-346 attack aircraft, T-129 ATAK helicopters, Agusta 109 Trekker multi-role helicopters as well as Chinese-made Wing Loong II drones, among an assortment of air assets.

He did not say when exactly these would be delivered, how much was paid for them or which country or countries they were bought from.

Last year, Nigeria received 12 A-29 Super Tucano planes, four years after the United States agreed to sell the West African country the light attack aircraft to fight insurgents.

Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Editing by Sandra Maler

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