The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has tasked manufacturers of the A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to ensure prompt delivery of the aircraft to Nigeria.
Abubakar said the aircraft will enhance Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operational capability for the swift conclusion of the counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast.
The CAS made the request while receiving a delegation from the Company on a courtesy visit at Headquarters NAF, Abuja.
A statement by the director Nigerian Air Force public relations and information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola said the CAS commended the US Government’s support for the fight against insurgency with the signing of the contract to sell the Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria.
He noted, however, that the major concern of the NAF was the timeframe for delivery.
The CAS said he was confident that the counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast could be executed more effectively, if light attack aircraft like the Super Tucano, with its long range, precision munitions as well as day and night capability, could be made available to the NAF in good time.
He therefore urged the Company to expedite production so that at least 2 of the aircraft would be available to Nigeria within an earlier timeframe, to boost counterinsurgency operations.
Speaking earlier, Senior Vice President of SNC, Mr Taco Gilbert, who led the visiting delegation assured the CAS of the Company’s determination to deliver quality aircraft capable of providing the needed impetus for NAF air operations.
Mr Taco pledged the commitment of the Company to provide adequate training for NAF’s air and ground crew to ensure effective and efficient operation of the aircraft.
He added that the Company looked forward to continued collaboration with NAF towards building a new air capability to address the security challenges in the country.
The visiting delegation had officials from the Office of Security Cooperation (OSC) of the United States (US) Embassy in Nigeria.
Highlights of the visit was the presentation of a model of the Super Tucano aircraft to the CAS.