Nigeria’s first Embraer Defense and Security/Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) A-29B Super Tucano has rolled out of the paint shop, sporting its Nigerian Air Force (NAF) colours.
The light attack aircraft – the first of 12 for the African nation – was unveiled wearing its in-service desert combat colours in late May. It follows the successful maiden flight of Nigeria’s first A-29B, which took place on April 16 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Deliveries of the type to the NAF are scheduled to take place next year. Prior to this, the A-29Bs will receive mission-specific modifications and undergo final testing in Centennial, Colorado. NAF pilots will train on the platform in the US before deliveries begin, with training being led by the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) 81st Fighter Squadron (FS) “Panthers” at Moody Air Force Base (AFB), Georgia.
Nigeria has ordered the 12 aircraft through the US State Department’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme. The request was approved and formally agreed by December 2017, with SNC being awarded the production contract – worth US$329m – in late 2018. The sale includes ground training devices, mission planning and debrief systems, US-based and outside of continental US (OCONUS) contractor logistics support, spares, ground support and alternate mission equipment.
The A-29 is a low-cost turboprop-driven light attack aircraft which can be used as a solution for advanced flight/combat training and close air support (CAS) operations, along with performing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), counterinsurgency, armed overwatch and irregular warfare scenario missions.