The Niger Air force has officially inducted a 3rd C-130 (Reg: 5U-MTU) into its transport fleet, the ceremony took place in Niamey Air Base 101, in the presence of the Minister of National Defence Alkassoum Indattou.
U.S. Embassy in Niger personnel and members of the Nigerien Armed Forces oversaw the transfer of a C-130 Hercules aircraft to the Nigerien Air Force during a handover ceremony at Air Base 101 in Niamey, Niger, on Jan. 4, 2023.
The Nigérien Air Force (Armée de l’Air du Niger) on 12 December 2022 took delivery of the third and final C-149H from the United States, after a four year extensive overhaul with Sabena Aerospace at Brussels.
The Hercules, a former USAF WC-130H 65-0985 (c/n 382-4140), will become 5UMTU with the Niger Air Force.
US African Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement that “our partnerships in West Africa are key to countering the escalating violent extremism in the region, and we are determined to work with the Nigerien Armed Forces toward the mutual goal of peace and stability.”
With the delivery of this C-130H, the transport fleet has strengthened its former capacity with fully overhauled and upgraded C-130Hs.
In 2015, Niger requested a WC-130H aircraft and a wing set (total acquisition value $63 million) and in 2019 requested four T56-A-15 engines and propellers for the Hercules, worth $6 million.
The United States Government delivered a C-130H Hercules transport aircraft (5U-MBH) to Niger Republic on 4 January, 2021.
Likewise, in December 2021, the United States delivered a second C-130H Hercules transport aircraft (5U-MMS) to Nigér.
The C-130H (5U-MMS) was handed over on 7 December, during a ceremony at the Nigérien Air Base 101 in the capital Niamey.
The United States has trained 16 Nigerien pilots, 19 maintenance personnel, five baggage handlers and a flight engineer.
Nigerien pilots underwent training on the C-130 in the United States, with the first female pilot in the Nigerien Air Force completing her six-month training in April 2020.
In January 2020 the United States military’s Africa Command handed over a new C-130 hangar, worth $7 million, at Air Base 201 near Agadez. The construction of the hangar was funded by the Department of State.
The new aircraft will join another C-130H delivered in 1979. In April 1997, another Hercules crashed in killing 14 people.