As part of an agreement to assist in ending terrorism in the country, Pentagon has paid over $44 million to General Dynamics-OTS to provide Hydra rockets to Nigeria, Afghanistan, Australia, Lebanon and the Philippines, the Department of Defense said.
Hydra rockets are lightweight weapons designed for use against point and area targets. They are fired from seven and 19 tube launchers that are mounted on aircraft such as the US Army’s Apache helicopter and the US Air Force F-16 combat jet.
General Dynamics-OTS provides advanced, technology-led defense, aerospace and security solutions that empower the US military and its allies.
Work will be performed in Williston, Vermont over the next two and a half years with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2021, the Defense Department said.
Besides this arrangement, The US had promised that in 2020 it will deliver 12 Super Tucano fighter jets and other weapons it agreed to sell to Nigeria to combat Boko Haram insurgents and other extremist groups.
A senior US Department of State official, who confirmed in Lagos that the Nigerian government had paid for the war planes, said sale of the aircraft with weapons and services was worth over $400 million included bombs and rockets.
The propeller-driven plane with reconnaissance, surveillance and attack capabilities is made by Brazil’s Embraer.
Embraer’s second production line is in Florida in a partnership between Embraer and privately held Sierra Nevada Corp of Sparks, Nevada.
The Super Tucano is said to cost more than 10 million dollars each and the price could go much higher depending on the configuration. It is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT 6 engine.
President Muhammadu Buhari, while on a visit to the White House on April 30, had discussed the possibility of receiving some of the aircraft from President Donald Trump.