The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) took delivery of the first six of 12 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft on Thursday 22, 2021.
The A-29 Super Tucano will support flight and combat training, close air support operations, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), armed over-watch, counterinsurgency and irregular warfare scenarios. NAF will take delivery of the second batch before the end of the year.
NAF Director Public Relations and Information Edward Gabkwet in a previous statement disclosed that the first batch of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft departed the United States on 14 July 2021 enroute to Nigeria.
“The six aircraft will be leapfrogged through five countries, including Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Spain, and Algeria before arriving their final destination in Nigeria towards the end of July 2021.”
“An official induction ceremony of the aircraft into the inventory of the NAF is already being planned at a later date in August 2021 to be announced in due course.”
In December 2018, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Embraer Defense & Security were awarded the contract from NAF to deliver 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force.
Embraer Defense & Security and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) later in April 2020 announced the first of 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack, combat and reconnaissance aircraft for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) successfully completed its inaugural flight at the production facility in Jacksonville, Florida.
“This is an exciting milestone in the production of these A-29s for the Nigerian Air Force. The Jacksonville production line is active, and Embraer and SNC look forward to seeing these aircraft continue to roll off the line in the coming months,” says Jackson Schneider, president & CEO, Embraer Defense & Security.
“The aircraft met or exceeded all the requirements and we are very pleased with the successful flight,” stated Ed Topps, vice president of Tactical Aircraft Systems and programs for SNC’s IAS business area. “SNC and our partner, Embraer, are certain the Nigerian Air Force will be pleased with these aircraft.”
The A-29 Super Tucano is built in the U.S. by Sierra Nevada Corporation and its partner, Embraer Defense & Security. The light attack aircraft is a versatile and powerful turboprop aircraft and is known for its rugged and durable design, which allows it to perform operations from unimproved runways and at forward operating bases in austere environments and rugged terrain.
At the moment, the aircraft has been selected by 15 air forces worldwide.
By Victor Shalton Odhiambo