Final Nigerian Super Tucanos arrive home


The final six of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft destined for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) arrived in Kano on 29 September, marking the end of deliveries.

The six aircraft departed Moody Air Force Base on 15 September and were expected to arrive in Nigeria by 24 September, but were delayed for a week in Iceland by bad weather. Their route home included stops in Iceland, Scotland, Spain and Algeria.

The six aircraft, flown by American pilots, were accompanied by a Dornier 328 support aircraft provided by manufacturer Sierra Nevada Corporation.

The first six NAF Super Tucanos flew through five Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Spain, and Algeria before arriving at their final destination in Nigeria towards the end of July. They were officially inducted into service on 31 August in Abuja.

The 12 Super Tucanos were acquired under a nearly $500 million Foreign Military Sale (FMS), with the aircraft manufactured by Brazil’s Embraer and the United States’ Sierra Nevada Corporation. The US Embassy pointed out that the Nigerian Super Tucano deal is the largest FMS programme in sub-Saharan Africa. It 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 Super Tucanos will assist the Nigerian Air Force in their fight against violent extremist organizations including the Islamic State West Africa Province.