The Ghana Air Force, in partnership with Embraer Defence and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), provided a display of the A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft’s capabilities at the Air Force Base Accra.

Against the backdrop of heightened security concerns in the sub-region, the Ghana Air Force, in collaboration with Embraer Defence and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), hosted an air show featuring the A-29 Super Tucano, a basic and advanced pilot training aircraft . The event, held on Monday, February 19, 2024, at the Air Force Base Accra, aimed to highlight the aircraft’s versatility in close air support and aerial reconnaissance missions.

The Super Tucano aircraft is a durable and versatile aircraft equipped with a powerful turboprop arrangement.

Ghana is currently in the ongoing process of acquiring the Super Tucano training and light attack aircraft from Embraer, the Brazilian aerospace company. The expected cost of the acquisition is $52.8m, according to GlobalData’s “Ghana Defense Market 2024-2029” report.

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Addressing attendees, including dignitaries and military officials, Air Vice Marshal Frederick Asare Kwasi Bekoe, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), emphasised the strategic significance of acquiring light attack aircraft in combating emerging terrorism threats. He praised the partnership with SNC and Embraer, citing it as a timely initiative to bolster the Ghana Air Force’s defensive and offensive capabilities within the region.

In his keynote address, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, Minister for Defence, stressed the importance of prioritising counter-terrorism efforts amidst evolving security challenges. He hailed the A-29 Super Tucano as an asset in augmenting the Ghana Air Force’s ability to address insurgency and terrorism effectively.

GlobalData forecasts an upturn in Ghana’s defence spending over the next five years, with an anticipated annual growth rate of 11.3% from 2025 to 2029, reaching $509.6m by 2029, after experiencing a decline in recent years. The country’s security concerns are exacerbated by instability in the Sahel region, prompting efforts to bolster border security and control.

Representatives from SNC and Embraer, Mr Eric Hauff and Mr Arnold Sobrero, expressed enthusiasm for the collaborative endeavour, underscoring its alignment with their organisations’ future goals for cooperation.

The event’s highlight was the aerial display, which featured flypasts and manoeuvring drills. Before the airborne showcase, attendees had the opportunity to explore the static display and witness firsthand the capabilities of the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.

West African neighbour Nigeria 2021 held an induction ceremony for the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, acquired through the US Foreign Military Sales programme at a value close to $500m. The ceremony marked a milestone in enhancing Nigeria’s ability to combat terrorism. The aircraft is expected to play a role in Nigeria’s efforts to combat violent extremism and ensure sustained deterrence.

Additional reporting by John Hill.