Niger Armed Forces receive new aircraft, vehicles
Written by defenceWeb, Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Two Cessna Caravans and ten Toyota trucks were handed over to the Nigerien military on July 5 during a ceremony at Nigerien Airbase 101 in the capital Niamey. The ceremony was attended by officials from Niger and the United States, including General Seyni Garba, the Nigerien Joint Chief of Staff, US Ambassador Bisa Williams, Nigerien Minister of Defence Karidio Mahamadou and Brigadier General Issa Mounkaila, Commander of the Nigerien Military Police.
The aircraft and trucks will be used mainly for border security and moving cargo, US Africa Command (Africom) said in a statement.
The single engine Caravans were purchased through the US National Defence Authorization Act Section 1206 programme that is jointly administered by the US Department of Defence and the US State Department. The $11 million package covered the initial costs of the aircraft and related expenses, including maintenance and pilot training, Africom said.
The ten new trucks were obtained under the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) program. The small trucks are part of a $4.2 million package that includes larger water and fuel trucks that will be delivered later. The vehicles will be used to enhance border security efforts across Niger, Africom said.
Niger has become a smuggling route for weapons from Libya reaching al Qaeda militants deeper in the Sahara since Muammar Gaddafi's fall in late 2011. Thousands of gunmen and tonnes of weapons and ammunition flowed south, mainly to Mali, after the fall of Libya's former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The US military has run training programmes for Niger's army for years under its counter-terrorism programme in the Sahel and has deployed about 100 military personnel and drones in Niger as part of the operation to dislodge Islamic militants from neighbouring Mali.
Niger is among the West African countries which contributed troops to the regional AFISMA force battling Islamists in Mali alongside a 4 000-strong French contingent.
Niger’s small military comprises some 5 000 personnel. The army has a dozen AML-60 and 88 AML-90 armoured cars and 14 M-3 armoured personnel carriers in service, according to The World Defence Almanac 2012, while the air force flies a single C-130H, Do-28D, Do-228, Boeing 737, two Diamond DA 42 and three ULM Tetra aircraft.
Top stories this week
Welcome to Saab's yearly Gripen seminar in Stockholm
by Saab, 4 March 2015
The company will present an update on the current status of the Gripen programme at the seminar, in Stockholm, on 12 March.
European Data Relay System confirms services for Copernicus in co-operation with European Commission
by AIRBUS Defence & Space, 26 February 2015
An agreement was reached with the European Commission for the provision of European Data Relay System services to the EU Copernicus programme
Paramount Group announces multi-million dollar contract for production of world-leading combat vehicles in Jordan
by Paramount Group, 25 February 2015
Paramount Group has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract for the production of the combat vehicles in Jordan.
Paramount Group to announce new deals, partnerships, technologies at IDEX 2015
by Paramount Group, 24 February 2015
The company will announce new deals, partnerships and technologies at the Middle East defence exhibition this week.
Poynting Holdings to acquire leading US-based antenna company, ARA
by Poynting Antennas, 20 February 2015
Antenna Research Associates is considered almost a replication of Poynting DS, but with more than 90% of sales being in the USA.
DSI offers sniper training with Braddick Mk X sniper rifles
by Decisive Solutions International, 17 February 2015
Decisive Solutions International has the agency and distributorship for the Braddick Mk X Special Forces Sniper Rifle, a .338 Lapua Magnum sniping system.