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US approves approves US$593 million Super Tucano A-29 sale to Nigeria

Posted 9 August 2017 · Add Comment

The US State Department has approved the sale of twelve (12) Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft and weapons, associated training, spare parts, aviation and ground support equipment, hangar facilities and infrastructural support to the Government of Nigeria. Oscar Nkala reports.

In a notice published on August 3, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) estimated the total value of the deal at $593 million, adding it had delivered the 'required certification' notifying Congress of this possible sale on August 2, 2017. 

"These aircraft will support Nigerian military operations against terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram, the Islamic State (IS) in West Africa and help efforts to counter illicit trafficking in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea. 

"The Super Tucano (A-29) is a sustainable platform for counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, border surveillance and illicit trade interdiction operations," the statement said. The DSCA said the sale is part of a U.S. commitment to help Nigeria and neighbours in the Lake Chad Basin to defeat ISIS and its affiliates in Africa. 

The proposed sale and associated training is also part of a broader US regional security policy to help professionalize, modernise and build the capacity of Nigeria’s armed forces. 

The sale is not expected to alter the basic military balance in the region. The prime supply and delivery contract was awarded to the Sierra Nevada Corporation of Colorado. US government or contractor representatives will be assigned to Nigeria to train teams and provide contract logistic support. 

Special training will be provided for Nigerian Air Force pilots on the law of armed conflict and human rights and air-to-ground integrated operations in order to minimize civilian casualties during airborne counter-insurgency operations.

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