The final batch of six A-29 Super Tucanos destined for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) have left the United States, and are due to arrive in Nigeria by month-end.
The six aircraft, out of an order for 12, departed Moody Air Force Base on 15 September. They are expected to transit via Iceland, Scotland, Spain and Algeria before arriving in Nigeria around 24 September.
The six aircraft, flown by American pilots, are accompanied by a Dornier 328 support aircraft provided by Sierra Nevada Corporation. The delivery flight was seen departing Goose Bay, Canada, on 17 September and arrived in Glasgow, Scotland, on the 19th. They were due next in Zaragoza, Spain.
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.