Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Embraer Defense & Security have released images of a newly-built Nigerian Air Force (NAF) A-29B Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which is sporting a new jungle paint scheme.
The aircraft – the serial of which was not identifiable in the images – is one of 12 that will be operated by the NAF in support of Nigeria’s wider counterinsurgency mission. In operational service, it will be employed as a light attack and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform. The new jungle livery applied to this aircraft differs from the five examples that have already been produced, given that those examples have received a desert camouflage paint scheme.
This new aircraft is the sixth to be produced under the contract and will now receive mission-specific modifications at Moody Air Force Base (AFB) in Georgia. The first five examples are already at Moody and are being used for NAF air and ground crew training purposes, which is being led by the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) 81st Fighter Squadron ‘Panthers’ at the Georgia base. The first batch of six aircraft will be delivered to the NAF this summer.
Nigeria ordered 12 A-29Bs through the US State Department’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, with the nation’s request being approved and formally agreed by December 2017. SNC was awarded the production contract – worth US$329m – in late 2018. Also included in this contract are related ground training devices, mission planning and debriefing systems, US-based and outside of continental US (OCONUS) contractor logistics support, spares, ground support and alternate mission equipment.
The A-29B Super Tucano 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 ISR, counterinsurgency, armed overwatch and irregular warfare scenario mission sets. The platform is currently in operational service with the air forces of 15 nations, including Afghanistan; Angola; Brazil; Burkina Faso; Chile; Colombia; the Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Indonesia; Lebanon; Mali; Mauritania; the Philippines; Senegal and the US.