Super Tucano Aircraft Will Enhance Fight Against Insecurity in Nigeria – U.S. Govt
The United States Government has said the arrival of the first set of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft will enhance Nigeria’s fight against insecurity.
Speaking at a round table with select journalists prior to the official induction, Jeffrey Harrigian, a general in the U.S. Airforce and commander of the U.S. African Command, stated that the acquisition will not only contribute to the security stability of Nigeria but the African region.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had in July taken delivery of the first batch of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States.
The Air Force said last year that air fighters from Nigeria were already in the U.S. receiving additional training on the usage and the applications of the fighter jets when eventually added to the fleet of combat aircraft.
The aircraft is expected to aid the fight against terrorism the North-east and other forms of insecurity in other parts of Nigeria.
After extensive discussions with the U.S. government, President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2018 placed an order for the aircraft.
He had said the procurement would help strengthen Nigeria’s national security, as well as a timely end to the Boko Haram war.
In a letter written to the National Assembly, the president said the Nigerian government transferred $469.4 million to the U.S. government for the purchase.
The matter then became a subject of controversy when the funds were released before approval by the National Assembly.
Apart from the Tucano fighter jets, Nigeria is also expecting other fighter jets from Pakistan.
While explaining the efficiency of the new aircraft, Mr Harrigian stated that the induction of the Super Tucano will be a defining moment in the fight against all forms of insecurity in Nigeria.
He said putting together the human capabilities of the armed forces side by side with the new fighter aircrafts, Nigeria will surmount its security in no distant time.
“Importantly, the platform itself brings a multitude of capabilities and this is not just about weapons, it is about intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, it is about that operability that it provides between the air component and the ground component.
“And so, it broadens the shared understanding of the force to be able to operate in these different domains.
“And, we see this as a great opportunity to work together in these different areas to deepen our partnership look for future opportunities, whether it be training whether it be intelligence because part of what we offer and what we are going to work together is really the full package.
“And, when we talk about the maintenance of an aircraft, when we talk about the tactics techniques and procedures that the pilots use, those are all things we are going to continue to refine together with the Nigerian Air Force.
“And, we see this as really an opportunity to broaden those areas where we have these shared values and areas that we’re going to work together to ultimately work to improve the security instability and work in partnership with all the things that the embassy does,” the U.S. general said.
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