The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has appealed to the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), manufacturers of the A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft, to expedite action on the delivery of the aircraft to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
He said the aircraft would enhance the operational capability of his men for the swift conclusion of the counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast.
A statement signed by Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force stated that Abubakar made this plea while receiving a delegation from the Company on a courtesy visit at Headquarters NAF, Abuja.
The visiting delegation, which also included officials from the Office of Security Cooperation (OSC) of the United States (US) Embassy in Nigeria, was led by Senior Vice President of SNC, Mr Taco Gilbert.
Gilbert assured the CAS of the Company’s determination to deliver quality aircraft capable of providing the needed impetus for NAF air operations.
He also expressed the commitment of the Company to provide adequate training for NAF’s air and ground crew to ensure effective and efficient operation of the aircraft.
In addition, the SNC Vice President noted that the Company looked forward to continued collaboration with NAF towards building a new air capability to address the security challenges in the country.
While responding, the CAS expressed his delight at the US Government’s support for the fight against insurgency with the signing of the contract to sell the Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria.
He noted, however, that the major concern of the NAF was the time frame for delivery.
The CAS was confident that the counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast could be executed more effectively, if light attack aircraft like the Super Tucano, with its long range, precision munitions as well as day and night capability, could be made available to the NAF in good time.
He urged the Company to expedite production so that at least 2 of the aircraft would be available to Nigeria within an earlier time frame, to boost counterinsurgency operations.
One of the highlights of the visit was the presentation of a model of the Super Tucano aircraft to the CAS.