B’Haram War: Air force seeks speedy delivery of Tucano aircraft


Chief of air staff (CAS), Sadique Abubakar, has appealed to the manufacturers of the A-29 Super Tucano Attack Aircraft to expedite action on its delivery to Nigeria.

Abubakar made the appeal when Taco Gilbert, senior vice-president of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), manufacturer of the aircraft, visited him in Abuja.

The Air Chief said delivery of the aircraft would enhance the air force’s capability in combating insurgency in the north-east.

He said the light attack aircraft which has a long range, precision munitions’ as well as day and night capability would boost counterinsurgency operations in the affected areas.

Abubakar said two of the aircraft would make a difference in the country’s fight against insurgency.

On his part, Gilbert assured the air chief of the company’s determination to deliver quality aircraft capable of providing the needed impetus for NAF air operations.

“The company looks forward to continued collaboration with NAF towards building a new air capability to address the security challenges in the country,” he said.

In February, the federal government placed an order for 12 Super Tucano aircraft at a cost of $496million. Delivery date is 2020.

The planes will be delivered along with Paveway 11 guided bombs, laser-guided rockets and infrared sensors.

The weapons and ammunition include 100 GBU-12 (500 lb) Paveway II Tailkits; 100 GBU-58 (250 lb) Paveway II Tailkits; 400 laser guided rockets including advanced precision kill weapon System (APKWS) rounds; 2000 MK-81 (250 lb) bombs; 5000 2.75 inch (70 mm) Hydra 70 unguided rockets; 1000 2.75 inch Hydra 70 unguided rockets (practice); and 20000 rounds of .50 calibre machine gun ammunition.

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