Nigerian Defence Minister Bashir Salihi Magashi and the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) have hosted an induction ceremony for the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.

The aircraft was procured via the US Foreign Military Sales programme valued at almost $500m.

The total sale package includes spare parts, contract logistics support and munitions. It also covers an infrastructure support project for the aircraft’s Kainji Air Base.

The ceremony was attended by US Department of Defence officials.

US Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa commander-general Jeff Harrigian said: “The Nigerian Air Force is one of our key partners [and] plays a critical role in furthering regional security and stability.

“This ceremony symbolises the strength of our unique partnership and underscores the value of training and working together.”

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The A-29 Super Tucano will support flight and combat training, close air support operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, armed over-watch, counterinsurgency and irregular warfare missions.

Commander Harrigian said: “The A-29 is a prime tool to help Nigeria combat violent extremism and is vital to sustained deterrence.

“The total package deal—aircrew and maintainer training, precision-guided weapon delivery and more—highlights our enduring partnership with the NAF and our commitment to enabling their successes where we can.”

The A-29 Super Tucano has been selected by 15 air forces worldwide.

In December 2018, SNC and Embraer Defence and Security received a contract from the NAF to deliver 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft.

Last April, Embraer and SNC announced that the maiden flight of the first aircraft for the NAF had been completed.

The contract includes ground training devices, mission planning systems, ground equipment, spares and other related support. The aircraft will be delivered in two batches.

The full fleet of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is being manufactured by SNC and Embraer at a facility in Jacksonville, Florida.