Nigeria will receive 10 Mi-35M helicopters in 2018, completing its order for 12.
The deputy director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Anatoliy Punchuk, told RIA Novosti in an interview, “In 2018, Russia will supply 10 Mi-35M helicopters. Thus, the contract will be completed by the end of next year.”
Russia has already supplied two to Nigeria.
Some translations of Punchuk’s statements, including one by Sputnik International, referred to his comments as saying Nigeria had already taken delivery of and would soon receive more Su-30 fighter jets. It is believed these, however, are misquotes, for the details Punchuk stated refer specifically to the Mi-35M contract.
Nigeria has not previously been known to be a customer for the Su-30.
The Mi-35Ms will aid in the Nigerian military’s efforts against Boko Haram, a terrorist group that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Under pressure from Nigeria as well as neighboring countries, Boko Haram has largely been driven back but remains a threat in the vicinity of Lake Chad.
Over the weekend, the Chadian military clashed with Boko Haram militants near several islands in Lake Chad. At least eight Chadian soldiers were killed, according to the military, which also claimed to have killed over 160 Boko Haram fighters.