With the expected arrival of six out of the 12 Super Tucanos mid-July, the Presidency has said Nigerians can hope for an end to insurgency in the country, according to the Presidency.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made the disclosure on his verified tweeter handle @garshehu, stating that there are 14 Nigerian pilots currently training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.
“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”, Shehu said.
He said further, “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”.
Shehu also disclosed that, according to Sierra Nervada Corporation, SNC, the company contracted to build the armed turboprops, 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”, he added.
In November 2018, Sierra Nervada Corporation 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.