The Nigerian military is receiving 16 armoured vehicles, including T-72 tanks, from the Czech Republic in order to help it in the battle against Boko Haram militants.
Czech daily publication Mlada fronta Dnes last week reported that Czech company Excalibur Group will deliver 16 vehicles including T-72 M1 tanks, BMP armoured infantry fighting vehicles and rocket launchers to an African country.
Czech Defence and Security Industry Association president Jiri Hynek confirmed the weapons’ destination as Nigeria, reports the Prague Post, saying the equipment is being delivered quickly.
The weaponry is being flown to Nigeria aboard a giant Antonov An-225 freighter, which is scheduled to make three flights to Africa. Photos of the An-225 and four T-72 tanks were taken in the Czech Republic city of Ostrava on January 26.
In August last year Hungary announced it had sold 58 T-72s to Excalibur Defence Limited, which transferred them to the Czech Republic. The tanks were from Hungarian Defence Forces stocks. Apparently the tanks were originally destined for the Ukraine.
The modernised T-72 M1 variant features a new 1 000hp diesel engine, new smoothbore 125 mm gun, new fire control system with Sosna-U stabilised day/night sights for gunner and commander and digital ballistic computer, satellite navigation system, explosive reactive armour package and the Arena countermeasures system.