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Ghana Air Force makes case for Super Tucano acquisition

The Super Tucano that was demonstrated at Air Force Base Accra in Ghana on 19 February 2024. (Ghana Air Force)

The Ghana Air Force hosted an event to promote the A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to the defence minister and other senior officials and officers on 19 February.

The demonstration was put on by Embraer, the Super Tucano's designer, and Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC), which produces the aircraft for US Foreign Military Sales customers, at Air Force Base Accra and was live-streamed by the air force via YouTube.

In his speech, Air Vice-Marshal Frederick Asare Kwasi Bekoe said the demonstration would “provide a platform for collaboration and negotiations between Sierra Nevada Corp and Embraer Defense & Security for future acquisition”.

He added that the Ghana Air Force considers the Super Tucano to be an “appropriate platform to enhance our deterrent and offensive posture within the sub-region”. Noting that the Super Tucano is rugged, versatile, and relatively cheap to operate, he said it could be used for countering terrorists, insurgents, and pirates, as well as for border security.

Minister of Defence Dominic Nitiwul responded that “it is plain from the speech of the chief of the air staff that our air force has fallen in love with this aircraft, and I am sure that negotiations to buy this aircraft will start in earnest”.

The VIPs got to inspect a Super Tucano before it performed an aerial display over the base, which is at Accra's international airport. Two of the Ghana Air Force's Mi-171 helicopters and one of its Z-9 helicopters then took off to perform a flyby. Three of the air force's K-8 light attack jets and one of its C295 transports could also be seen at the airbase.

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