US approves Super Tucano attack planes for Nigeria

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A-29 Super Tucano operated by the Brazilian Air Force. Photo courtesy of the Brazilian Ministry of Defence

After years of foot-dragging, the US State Department has finally  approved a $593 million sale to Nigeria of A-29 Super Tucano attack planes with associated parts, training, facilities and weapons.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered their certification of the foreign military sale to Congress, as required by law, on August 2, according to United Press International.

The twelve A-29s, equipped with wing-mounted machine guns, weapons integration with advanced surveillance… precision-guided bombs, and even air-to-air missiles” are expected to be  used by Nigeria to combat the  Boko Haram insurgents and other extremist groups, such as the Islamic State West Africa splinter group. They will also serve to counter smuggling and other trafficking in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.

The DSCA has determined that U.S. security interests are served by assisting Nigeria in its counter-insurgency operations and that the A-29 sale will not significantly alter the military balance of power in the region.

The contract will require U.S. Government or private contractors to provide training and support, and will include instruction on rules of engagement and human rights to help prevent civilian casualties.

The Embraer A-29 Super Tucano is a turboprop light attack plane in service with countries across the world. It is designed for counter-insurgency operations and close-air support in areas lacking significant air defenses. It is also widely used as a training aircraft.

It is a contender in the U.S. Air Force’s OA-X light attack aircraft competition for a low-cost and easy to operate and maintain air support platform.

Light planes like the Tucano can fulfil air support and surveillance needs in low-risk environments at a much lower operational cost then heavier jets like the A-10 or F-16 and require less flight and maintenance training.

The attack planes will be a big boost for Nigeria’s military anti-terrorism campaign in the north east of the country.

Past attempts to procure the plane under the Obama administration was frustrated by accusations of human rights abuses against Nigeria’s military.

According to Defense Industry Daily, the Super Tucano is known as the A-29 or ALX in Brazil, but abroad, it’s the EMB 314 successor to Embraer’s widely-used EMB 312 Tucano trainer.

The plane offers better flight performance than the EMB 312 Tucano, plus armoring and wing-mounted machine guns, weapons integration with advanced surveillance and targeting pods, precision-guided bombs, and even air-to-air missiles.

This makes it an excellent territorial defence and close support plane for low-budget air forces, as well as a surveillance asset with armed attack capability. Brazil uses it this way, for instance, alongside very advanced EMB-145 airborne radar and maritime patrol jet platforms.

In Africa, Ghana, Angola, Burkina Faso, Angola, Mauritania, either have the Tucano in their air forces, or they had placed orders for new supplies.


Join the Conversation

  • front man

    Great news for Nigeria

    • progressive

      It indeed a great news nigeria is progressing

  • front man

    This present administration is doing well in fulfilling promises made to Nigeria by finding a lastly solutions to Boko Haram and other deadliest group terrorising the country

    • Night Crawler

      Boko haram will soon be a thing of the past

      • dele20

        Exactly my view

    • dele20

      This present administration is positively working beyond imagination

  • front man

    God bless Nigeria
    God bless pmb
    God bless HMIC
    God bless us all

    • dele20

      Amen

  • front man

    With this Boko Haram and other deadliest groups shall be a third of the past

    • dele20

      Sure

  • front man

    Good news

  • Night Crawler

    Insurgency will have themselves to blame sooner than later

    • woman leader1

      Sure

    • dele20

      Sure, they are already panicking

  • woman leader1

    May God continue to bless Nigeria and our leaders.

    • dele20

      Amen.

  • Night Crawler

    What gej can’t do for over 4 years in power, PMB under two years got united state to sell arms for us to defeat boko haram

    • dpfrank

      PMB is the man for the job

    • dele20

      GEJ sucked Nigeria dry without achieving

  • progressive

    This is first of it kind in the country this is a great news indeed it shows that this present administration is really serious in making sure that boko haram does not exist again

    • woman leader1

      We will surely get there.

    • THEARGUMENTATOR

      Smile. With over 90% work done on the Boko’s, with this the will be a thing of the past sooner. Thumbs Up for this achievement I must say.

  • woman leader1

    We can all see that this government is doing greatly well, fulfilling their promises, only the failed people won’t be happy about this.
    Nice one.

  • progressive

    It shows that buhari is indeed serious this is going to a long way in making sure the boko haram are been sent out of nigeria, buhari indeed have fulfil part of his promises I think this is one of the promises as well by collaborating with USA in making sure the boko haram are been wiped out from their hiding

  • Night Crawler

    Hehehe, the end is near for boko haram, group that has been technically defeated before, with this, it will send them to early grave

  • progressive

    Where are the jobless pdp e rats, what am expecting from them is that they should pmb a kudos what Jonathan failed to do buhari have been able to achieve it

  • progressive

    Those who think buhari will not fulfil his promises are the ones who have stolen from our national treasury that is why they never for once want anything good in the country but we thank God today that we have a president who has been using his good will wisdom to rule the country perfectly and we can all see the result.

    • dele20

      PMB is active and working great

    • Olatubosun

      They will sleep in the jail

  • Night Crawler

    This administration is really committed in defeating boko haram. May God bless all JTF, those at the war front, CJTF are not left out, bless Buratai for encouraging them, bless PMB for been committed in erasing boko haram in the country and bless Nigeria, Amen

    • dele20

      Kudos to this APC led administration

    • Olatubosun

      Ameen

  • dpfrank

    Good news for Nigeria, FG under PMB is doing a great job in ending terrorism. BH will soon be completely wiped out.

    • dele20

      Yes oooo, no record like that of this present administration

    • Olatubosun

      Sure

  • dpfrank

    Enemies of Nigeria progress cannot comment on this good news, their mouths has suddenly gone numb.

    • dele20

      Those enemies of Nigeria are only after criticism not about celebrating good things, truth of this great APC led administration is revealing day by day.

      Kudos to PMB

      • Olatubosun

        Yes

  • THEARGUMENTATOR

    Yes o! Nice one.

  • THEARGUMENTATOR

    I wonder why the earlier government couldnt secure the purchase back then. Well I believe gradually this administration has done most of his promise. God bless Nigeria

    • Sincere-Voice

      You can say that again bro.

    • Olatubosun

      You are correct, it is bcos of their selfish interest and thier hatred for the masses

    • SpeakOut

      They won’t , their primary aim is for them to loots the public treasuries.

  • dele20

    In every aspect, this APC led administration is much more better than the corrupt PDP

    • Olatubosun

      Pdpig only know how to keep everything to themselves…. But forgot the grievances of the people

  • dele20

    Sincerely, this administration has done alot, and worked great, this is perfect.

  • dele20

    No any government has ever fought corruption the way of this present administration

  • dele20

    Great work.

  • dele20

    GEJ was only after his pocket, why he refused to secure Nigeria?

    • Olatubosun

      You got it right

  • dele20

    To PMB, more grease to your elbow.

  • dele20

    It is clear to every Nigerian that this present administration is working great, effective, efficient and unrelenting

    • Sincere-Voice

      Very clear as crystal!

      • dele20

        Yeah, and very transparent as diamond

    • Olatubosun

      You are correct….

  • Sincere-Voice

    This is a good one for the Nigerians and this administration for all they have been putting in to deal insurgency in the country. Keep the good work up Buhari and his crew!

  • Olatubosun

    This present administration is wonderful

  • Olatubosun

    God bless Nigeria and God bless buhari and his cabinets

  • Olatubosun

    This present administration is really wonderful, the previous administration didn’t lay down this but they laid down the system of corruption….
    God bless Nigeria and God bless buhari and his cabinets…
    Thank God…. Nigeria has been blessed… And she has been sanitized

  • SpeakOut

    Thank God for this, Book Haram you’re in soup.

  • LagosBoy

    Now its time to give the Military their desired instruments to make them work better and secure our nation without so many loss of lives to their comrades…
    The military would be happy and proud to serve the nation now when they are fully equipped.
    This government is just the best Nigeria has had in a very very long time.
    Well done PMB and Prof Yemi led administration

    God bless Nigeria and God bless us all