The United States blocked the sale of retired Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters to Nigeria by Israel, writes leading Israeli news paper Haaretz.
Apparently Nigeria said to want the air assets to combat terror/rebel organisation Boko Haram. According to Haaretz the deal was blocked during Earth’s northern hemisphere’s Summer. Washington normally blocks sales when it is afraid a sale would upset the military balance in the region, or when the receiving nation is not one of its greatest friends.
Israeli Air & Space Force’s 160 Squadron first flew 15 MD500s, 3 AH-1Ss and 17 AH-1Fs from 1980 to 2001, then switched to 15 ex-US Army AH-1E versions and 12 to 15 surviving AH-1Fs. In August 2013 the Israeli Defence Forces decided to retire the fleet and disband the squadron because of budgetary reasons. Moreover, the Cobra was deemed inferior to the more capable AH-64 Apache and 160 Squadron had bad luck with many incidents.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: An Israeli Air Force AH-1 during live fire demonstration on 28 June 2011 at the IAF Academy (Image (CC) Oren Rozen)