By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE Presidency yesterday said that six of the twelve Super Tucanos are on track to arrive in mid-July 2021.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in his Twitter handle said that the remaining six would arrive shortly after.
He said that already 14 Nigerian pilots to handle the Tucanos are currently undergoing training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.
According to him, “The Super Tucanos came off the production line in Jacksonville Florida and are now being equipped and flight tested.
“Nigerian pilots and maintenance personnel are training on these planes. Currently, the construction is ongoing, which will house the aircraft.
“The Air-Ground-Integration school is the training hub on targeting and minimization of civilian casualties.
“At present, five Nigerian Super Tucanos are at Moody AFB in Georgia for pilot and maintainer training.
“The two companies released images of the sixth aircraft, which also will be flown to Moody, in a jungle camouflage scheme.”
The statement further quoted SNC as saying said that “The painted jungle scheme NAF A-29 now moves on to mission modification at Moody Air Force Base.”
“Following modification, before delivery, NAF pilots and maintenance personnel will further train in the aircraft.”
In November 2018, SNC was awarded a $329 million Foreign Military Sales contract from the US government to build 12 A-29s for the Nigerian air force. The armed turboprops are intended for use against Boko Haram and Islamic State militants.