Nigeria inducts Super Tucanos
Nigeria inducted the first of 12 Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light-attack turboprops on 31 August, US Africa Command announced.
Six aircraft were formally received by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) during a ceremony held at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and attended by Nigerian Minister of Defence Bashir Salihi Magashi and US Department of Defense (DoD) officials.
“The Nigerian Air Force is one of our key partners that plays a critical role in furthering regional security and stability,” General Jeff Harrigian, US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander, was quoted as saying during the event.
The induction ceremony came some five weeks after the six Super Tucanos arrived in Nigeria on 22 July. The second batch of six aircraft is expected before the end of 2021.
A total of 64 NAF pilots and maintainers have been trained on the type by the US Air Force’s 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Base in the US state of Georgia. Under the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) procurement, the US Army Corps of Engineers is providing USD36.1 million in infrastructure support to the Super Tucano’s home station of Kainji Air Base. Interestingly, while four of the aircraft are finished in a desert-type colour scheme, the remaining two have a jungle camouflage finish that no doubt reflects a forward basing option