India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has signed a contract with the Nigerian Army for further helicopter pilot training.
This marks the continuation of a contract signed in April 2021 for imparting Phase-I flying training to six Nigerian Army aviation officers, which was successfully executed in December 2021. They joined HAL’s Rotary Wing Academy.
HAL said the new contract is for Phase II training on the Chetak helicopter, for six Nigerian Army Aviation officers.
The Phase-II flying training was scheduled to commence on 11 April and is planned to be completed by December 2022. Seventy hours of flying training would be imparted for each Nigerian Army Aviation officer, HAL said.
The contract was signed by BK Tripathy, General Manager, Helicopter Division and Commodore Anthony Victor Kujoh, Defence Adviser, High Commission of Nigeria in India at a programme held at the company’s Helicopter Division recently.
Tripathy said the company’s rotary wing platforms such as the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) could be great assets for the Nigerian Army. “Nigeria would not only like to further enhance the business relationship with HAL for training, but also towards asset acquisition”, said Kujoh.
HAL established its Rotary Wing Academy in 2000 for the ab initio training of helicopter pilots. Training is carried out on Schweizer, Chetak and Dhruv helicopters.
The Nigerian Army has for years been trying to acquire its own helicopters instead of relying on Nigerian Air Force assets. It has been training its own pilots for some years, with the first batch graduating in 2017 from the Nigerian Army Aviation School.