The second batch of the A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets ordered by Nigeria to boost the war against insurgency and banditry is on its way to the country.
Personal Assistant to President Buhari on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, disclosed on his verified Facebook page in the early hours of Tuesday, September 21.
Ahmad wrote: “The second batch of the A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets acquired by President Muhammadu Buhari to boost the war against insurgency and banditry has departed the United States for Nigeria.”
A-29 Super Tucano Will Bring Stability, Says US
Recall that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had on Thursday, July 22, 2021 took delivery of the first batch of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the US.
Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd); Chief of Army Staff, Gen Faruk Yahaya, and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, were on hand to receive the aircraft in Kano.
Subsequently, the six newly acquired A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets were inducted into the NAF Order of Battle on Tuesday, August 31, at the Presidential Air Fleet Apron of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
U.S. Department of Defense officials attended the A-29 Super Tucano induction ceremony, hosted by Nigerian Minister of Defence, Magashi and the Nigerian Air Force.
Nigeria purchased the A-29s through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, the United States Embassy in Nigeria said in a statement.
The purchase, it said, follows the Department of Defence’s “Total Package Approach” model and includes spare parts for several years of operation, contract logistics support, munitions, and a multi-year construction project to improve Kainji Air Base infrastructure.
The total sale is said to be valued at almost $500 million, making it the largest FMS program in sub-Saharan Africa.
The A-29 Super Tucano jet can perform intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and precision air-to-ground strikes, strengthening Nigeria’s ability to fight terrorism.
“The A-29 is a prime tool to help Nigeria combat violent extremism and is vital to sustained deterrence,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander, at the induction event.