US General Says A-29 Super Tucanos Aircrafts Will Aid Nigeria’s War Against Terrorism
The A-29 Super Tucanos aircrafts are to increase aerial operations of the Nigerian military where its ground troops may not access.
Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the commander of United States Air Forces in Europe and Africa, says the induction of A-29 Super Tucanos aircrafts acquired by the Nigerian government would boost the country’s fight against terroism.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Harrigian said the acquisition of the aircraft brought in many capabilities that would aid the Nigerian military in stomping ISWAP insurgents and terrorists in the Northwest where increasing attacks have become worrisome.
“Importantly, the platform itself brings a multitude of capabilities, and this is not just about weapons. It is about intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance,” he said at a roundtable on the U.S.-Nigeria military partnership, on Monday, Aug. 30.
“It is about that operability that it provides between the air component and the ground component.”
This, the General said, broadens the shared understanding of the Nigerian Air Force to be able to operate in different domains. He added that the US air force personnel would continue to work with its Nigeria counterparts to ultimately improve security and counter-terrorism efforts. Nigerian Airforce personnel have been trained by the US on how to use the aircrafts and other military tactics.
The A-29 Super Tucano is a reliable and cost-effective solution for basic and advanced flight and combat training, close air support operations, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), armed overwatch, counterinsurgency, and irregular warfare scenarios.
The aircraft is built in Florida by Brazil’s Embraer and the private US firm, the Sierra Nevada Corporation.
In July, Nigeria military received the first batch of the six attack planes, to increase aerial operations where its ground troops are unable to access. The country sealed the deal to acquire 12 planes with the US under Donald Trump’s administration in 2017.
Also, Mary Leonard, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, said the induction of the aircrafts was a milestone in the US-Nigeria bilateral relations.
Asides the military equipment, Leonard said the US was ready to help Nigeria identify terrorism sponsors amidst reports of involvement of top Nigerians in the decade-old Boko Haram insurgency.
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