The Presidency has announced that 6 of the 12 super Tucano fighter aircraft earlier ordered by the Federal Government are set to arrive in the country by mid-July 2021, with the remaining 6 to come in shortly after.
This follows the award of a $329 million Foreign Military Sales contract to SNC by the United States government to build 12 A-29s for the Nigerian air force in November 2018.
This disclosure was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, through a series of tweet posts on his official Twitter handle on Thursday, March 18, 2021.
While stating that the armed Super Tucanos are intended for use against terrorist groups, the Boko Haram and Islamic State militants, Shehu said they have come off the production line in Jacksonville Florida and are now being equipped and flight tested.
The statement from Garba Shehu reads, “Six of the twelve Super Tucanos are on track to arrive in mid-July 2021. With the remaining six shortly after that. There are 14 Nigerian pilots currently training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.
“The super Tucano came off the production line in Jacksonville Florida, and are now being equipped and flight tested. Nigerian pilots and maintenance personnel are training on these planes. Currently, the construction is ongoing, which will house the aircraft.
“The Air-Ground-Integration school is the training hub on targeting and minimization of civilian casualties. At present five Nigerian Super Tucanos are at Moody AFB in Georgia for pilot and maintainer training. The two companies released images of the sixth aircraft, which also will be flown to Moody, in a jungle camouflage scheme.”
According to Shehu, SNC said that the painted jungle scheme NAF A-29 now moves on to mission modification at Moody Air Force Base adding that following modification, before delivery, NAF pilots and maintenance personnel will further train in the aircraft.
What you should know
- Recall Nairametrics reported on December 2020 that The Nigerian Air Force announced that an A-29 Super Tucano fighter jet will be delivered to Nigeria in 2021.
- The Super Tucano Aircraft, which has been described as devastatingly effective against covert insurgents, was approved for sale to the Nigerian Government by the Trump-led US administration to support Nigerian military operations against terrorist organizations, Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa and Nigeria’s efforts to counter illicit trafficking in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.
- This deal came after the Obama-led US government reportedly refused to help Nigeria with military equipment to help fight insurgency in the country.
NIGERIA’S SUPER TUCANOS TO ARRIVE MID-JULY 2021.
Six of the twelve Super Tucanos are on track to arrive in mid-July 2021. With the remaining six shortly after that. There are 14 Nigerian pilots currently training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. pic.twitter.com/bFXrQWmXSV
— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) March 18, 2021