Boko Haram: Military takes delivery of 12 A-29 Tucano fighter jets in 2021


The United States of America has given 2021 as deadline to deliver 12 A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft to the Nigerian military to fight the Boko Haram renegades in the north east.

The federal government paid $496 million in February 2018 with 2020 as the initial delivery date.

The sale represents the US contribution to the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.

The director of the US Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate, Brig Gen Sean Farrell, disclosed the new delivery time after a meeting with authorities of the Nigerian Air Force in Abuja on Saturday.

Farrell, who is one of the senior officers overseeing the procurement, said he and his team members were in Nigeria to discuss the delivery schedule of the aircraft as well as the construction efforts at the NAF Base where the aircraft would be stationed.

A statement by the NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, quoted Farrell as saying: “I express the readiness of my team to complete the execution of the contract in record time.

“Our visit to the base will provide the team with first-hand knowledge of the construction site as well as help to avoid delays in schedule and risks in the future.

“We are committed to assisting the NAF to deliver air power capability expeditiously in order to add value to what the air force is already doing in the counter-insurgency operations in the North-East of Nigeria.”

Speaking at the meeting, the chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the induction of the fighter aircraft would boost NAF’s capability adding that Boko Haram is not just a Nigerian problem.

“The Boko Haram menace is not a local problem but a global one because the consequences of not adequately dealing with the threat will not only impact on Nigeria but West Africa.

“This, therefore, underscores the need for international collaboration and cooperation to adequately and decisively deal with the threat.

“The defeat of Islamic fighters in Syria and Iraq has had the unfortunate effect of exacerbating the problem in Nigeria with transfer of fighters and equipment to the West African sub-region. This thereby emboldens the terrorists who now have more sophisticated weapons and equipment.”

“The induction of the A-29 Tucano will greatly enhance NAF’s capability to more effectively prosecute the war against insurgency in the North-East.”

“We therefore urge you to do all within your power to ensure that at least two of the aircraft are delivered to Nigeria even before 2021,” he said.


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