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Niger receives two AB412 helicopters

The two ex-Guardia di Finanza AB212 helicopters are handed over at Air Base 101. (Forces Armées Nigériennes)

Italy has transferred two AB412 helicopters to the Niger Armed Forces (FAN), it was announced on 18 October.

The FAN said a reception ceremony was held for the two helicopters at Air Base 101 in Niamey and that another two would follow. They will be used by the air force for transporting troops and logistics, as well as medical evacuation, it added.

It released photographs showing the two helicopters painted in the colours of Italy's Guarda di Finanza and fitted with fairings above their cabins for the radars used to detect maritime smugglers.

The Italian Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a statement saying two helicopters that have been reconditioned by its Defence Industries Agency (AID) have been sold to Niger to increase its capacity to counter illegal trafficking and security threats.

Italian Minister of Defence Lorenzo Guerini attended the handover ceremony and also visited Italian military personnel deployed as part of the Bilateral Support Mission in the Republic of Niger (MISIN), which began in 2018 and also covers support for Benin, Mauritania, and Nigeria.

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