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Military Capabilities

Nigeria to get Brazilian Super Tucanos

10 February 2017

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) announced on 9 February that it will receive three Embraer EMB-314/A-29 Super Tucano turboprops from the Brazilian Air Force.

It said in a statement that Embraer had confirmed that the Brazilian government had authorised its air force to transfer the three aircraft to the company for onward delivery to the NAF.

The Nigerian Air Force will receive three of the Super Tucanos that are currently in service with its Brazilian counterpart. (Embraer)The Nigerian Air Force will receive three of the Super Tucanos that are currently in service with its Brazilian counterpart. (Embraer)

The statement cited Embraer's Eneias de Souza Freitas as saying that a number of legal requirements and procedures were still being finalised, but that Embraer would try to expedite the process.

The NAF noted the advantages of the Super Tucano, saying it can operate from remote, unpaved airfields and can carry a wide array of weapons and sensors.

NAF Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said the procurement of the Super Tucano had been considered as early as 2015 and appropriated in the 2016 budget for the air force.

He added that a team of NAF officers would soon travel to Brazil to inspect the aircraft to be transferred and that Nigeria also intended to procure new Super Tucanos from the United States.

The NAF announced its plan to acquire an unspecified number of Super Tucanos from the United States in June 2016, saying it hoped the sale would be approved in the near future. The Super Tucano is built by the Sierra Nevada Corporation, which is currently delivering the type to the Afghan Air Force and also has an order to produce six for Lebanon.

There has been no confirmation as yet that the sale has been approved, but the United States has taken a more favourable stance on providing military support to Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in 2015.

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