ABUJA, (Reuters) – Nigeria received its first six A-29 Super Tucano planes, the air force said on Thursday, four years after the United States agreed to sell the West African country the light attack aircraft to fight insurgents.
Nigeria is battling rising insecurity, including mass school abductions in the northwest, Islamist insurgencies in the northeast and kidnappings for ransom and armed robberies nationwide.
The planes, the first half of an order of 12, arrived in the northern city of Kano on Thursday, the air force said in a statement.
The United States under then-President Donald Trump agreed to sell the planes to Nigeria in 2017, resurrecting a deal frozen by the Barack Obama administration after the Nigerian Air Force bombed a refugee camp. [https://reut.rs/3zrt08U]
The aircraft order, including thousands of bombs, rockets and a servicing agreement, came at a cost of $593 million.
The propeller-driven planes, which have reconnaissance, surveillance and attack capabilities, were built in Florida through a partnership between Brazil’s Embraer (EMBR3.SA) and privately held Sierra Nevada Corp of Sparks, Nevada.