What to Know About Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano

“To be there on the continent is a huge step forward in order to deliver high quality construction to our stakeholders,” Adelakun said
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The Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano

Nigeria's A-29 Super Tucano fleet is expected to arrive in the country by mid-July or later. The A-29, along with the recently delivered JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter, will form the offensive aerial portion of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), especially as part of the ongoing joint counterterrorism operation.

The timeline for the A-29 Super Tucano is detailed in this article, from the time the deal was made to the date of delivery, which has been scheduled for July 2021.

A-29 Super Tucano

The EMB 314 Super Tucano (export name A-29) is a turboprop light attack aircraft designed and built by Brazil's Embraer as a low-cost system capable of ground strikes, aerial interdiction, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) roles, as well as limited air defense duties (against helicopters and light turboprop aircraft).

The aircraft is equipped with a variety of weapons, including precision-guided munitions, bombs, rockets, and machine guns, to carry out these missions.

Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano in jungle camouflage scheme. (USAF image)

Aside from its factory in Brazil, Embraer has established a production line in the United States in collaboration with Sierra Nevada Corporation to produce A-29s.

With over 230,000 flight hours and 30,000 combat hours under its belt after more than a decade of service, the Super Tucano has a stellar track record. The A-29 Super Tucano is currently used by ten air powers, according to Embraer.

Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano contract

The US government awarded SNC a $329 million Foreign Military Sales contract to develop 12 A-29 Super Tucanos for the Nigerian Air Force in November 2018.

The Super Tucano deal had its own set of problems. In 2015, the Armed Forces made the decision to replace the ailing Alpha jet platform with the newer A-29 Super Tucano, but the US rejected the deal, citing human rights concerns with the military. In January 2015, the US also prevented Goodluck Jonathan from purchasing Boeing CH-47 Chinook and Bell AH-1Z helicopters from Israel.

The US defense industry is prohibited from offering military support to countries that violate human rights under the "Leahy Law". At the time, the US government expressed dissatisfaction with the actions taken against those suspected of human rights violations in the North-operational East's areas.

Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano

Nigeria's A-29 Super Tucano Deal's Worth

The US Department of Defense (DoD) awarded Serra Nevada Corporation (SNC) $329.08 million for 12 aircraft in December 2018, with an additional USD15.65 million earmarked for forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensors on six aircraft, after the problem was resolved and the US relaxed its stance.

Paveway II guided bombs, laser-guided rockets, 12.7 mm bullets, unguided bombs, and infrared sensors were included in the $593 million contract.

The current Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract will also include ground training technologies, mission preparation systems, mission debriefing systems, spares, ground support equipment, alternate mission equipment, and US contingency equipment, in addition to the aircraft.

Arms for the A-29 Super Tucano

The multi-mission platform demonstrated that it could perform a variety of combat roles with minimal modifications as the A-29 program progressed.

After one of its integral weapon systems, the AGR-20A Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), shot down a drone during training at the Air Combat Command's 85 Test and Evaluation Squadron Eglin Air Force Base in 2019, the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft acquired the capability to shoot down helicopters, cruise missiles, and light aircraft.

The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) is a combat-proven, semi-active laser-guided 70 mm air-to-surface rocket system developed in partnership with the US government.

The AGR-20A was designed as a low-cost, low-collateral-damage air-to-ground weapon, but due to its short range and poor weather conditions, it can only be used at short range and in good weather.

The GBU-58 Paveway II guided bombs and the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) are also part of the weapons kit for the 12 Nigerian Air Force Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light strike aircraft.

Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano Weapons

The A-29 Super Tucano of the Nigerian Air Force made its maiden flight.

Last year, the first Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano light-attack turboprops conducted its maiden flight at the Florida production facility on 17 April.

Jackson Schneider, president & CEO, Embraer Defence & Security stated during the flight that,

the aircraft met or exceeded all the requirements and we are very pleased with the successful flight,” stated Ed Topps, vice president of Tactical Aircraft Systems and programs for SNC’s IAS business area.

SNC and our partner, Embraer, are certain the Nigerian Air Force will be pleased with these aircraft.”

Moody Air Force Base in Georgia hosted a stateside mission to train Nigerian Air Force pilots and maintenance staff following the successful maiden flight of the A-29 Super Tucano. Last year, the 81st Fighter Squadron, an established A-29 Light Air Support training squadron, began training Nigerian Air Force personnel on how to use the A-29 aircraft safely and effectively.

“US Air Force advisors will provide flying, aircraft maintenance, and ground training device instructors and operators to support training of Nigerian personnel.“

Approximately 100 Nigerian military, civilians, and contractors were trained in Moody air base to support training on 12 aircraft; they would later become instructors.

Nigerian A-29 Super Tucano facilities

The Nigerian Air Force A-29 Super Tucano will operate from the Kainji Air Base in the western state of Niger, at the southern end of Kainji Lake, beginning in September 2020.

The US Air Force then started building the infrastructure needed to sustain Nigeria's new A-29 Super Tucano air wing. The US Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate's Foreign Military Sales Construction Division awarded the $36.1 million contract to the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District.

The US Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate's Foreign Military Sales Construction Division awarded the $36.1 million contract to the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District.

the A-29 Super Tucano is the ultimate low-risk, fully-developed solution required where time is short and the need is urgent, and it will provide the Nigerian Armed Forces fighting Boko Haram in the N

Hackers expose confidential information on Nigeria's A-29 Super Tucano

After refusing to compromise and pay ransom demands, Embraer suffered a setback when hackers gained access to and leaked some of the Brazilian company's private files.

Samples of employee details, business contracts, images of flight simulations, and source code, among other things, were stolen from the site in the early hours of December 30.

According to ZDNet, 4.4 MB of data from Nigeria's A-29 Program was also stolen and shared on the dark web by RansomExx (also known as Defray777), a ransomware group.

The A-29 Super Tucano of the Nigerian Air Force is about to be delivered.

So far, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USAGE) has formed a permanent presence in Africa to oversee key US Africa Command (AFRICOM) projects, such as the construction of new facilities for the A-29 Super Tucano wing at Kainji Airbase.

Adewale Adelakun, the United States of Europe District Project Engineer, started setting up his office in November 2020 and is now fully operational.

“To be there on the continent is a huge step forward in order to deliver high quality construction to our stakeholders,” Adelakun said.

The United States is working to deliver A-29 Super Tucanos to Nigeria's Armed Forces, and Nigerian pilots are currently receiving instruction on the aircraft from US Air Force Pipers.