The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) has stated that Nigeria is set to take delivery of six US-made A-29 Super Tucano jets, as the fight against insurgency continues.
In a statement released by the NAF, six Nigerian pilots, 26 engineers and technicians are currently undergoing training in the US as part of plans to bring the jets home.
“The contractual agreement between the Nigerian government and the United States for the supply of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, for which payment has been made, is not in jeopardy as being insinuated.”
“For the avoidance of doubts, it is necessary to state that the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft project is on track to be delivered on schedule and in accordance with the terms of the contract. Currently, six of the expected 12 aircraft have been produced and are presently being employed for conversion training of six NAF pilots who are in the US.”
“Another set of 35 personnel are also scheduled to join them early next year. Also, a team from the US is currently in Kainji overseeing the construction of critical infrastructure provided in the Contract ahead of the delivery of the aircraft,” the NAF statement reads.
An Overview of the A-29 Super Tucano Jet
The Super Tucano, though old, is affordable, light, and durable and just what Nigeria needs to fight insurgents.
A-29s are turboprop planes armed with one 20mm cannon below the fuselage able to shoot 650 rounds per minute, one 12.7mm machine gun (FN Herstal) under each wing and up to four 7.62mm Dillion Aero M134 Miniguns able to shoot up to 3,000 rounds per minute.
The Super Tucano is a highly maneuverable light attack aircraft able to operate in high temperatures and rugged terrain. It is 11.38 meters long and has a wingspan of 11.14 meters; its maximum takeoff weight is 5,400 kilograms.
The aircraft has a combat radius of 300 nautical miles, can reach speeds up to 367 mph and hits ranges up to 720 nautical miles. Its range of 300 nautical miles positions the aircraft for effective attacks within urban environments or other more condensed combat circumstances.