The first of 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack, combat and reconnaissance aircraft for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has successfully made its inaugural flight.
The plane completed the flight at the production facility in Jacksonville, Florida, United States.
A video of the flight was released by its manufacturers, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Embraer Defense & Security.
However, delivery will not begin until 2021, SNC said in a press release on 17 April.
“The NAF A-29 aircraft will now begin mission modification and final testing in Centennial, Colorado. Following final testing, before delivery, NAF pilots will train in the aircraft.
“The aircraft met or exceeded all the requirements and we are very pleased with the successful flight,” stated Ed Topps, vice president of Tactical Aircraft Systems and programs for SNC’s IAS business area.
“SNC and our partner, Embraer, are certain the Nigerian Air Force will be pleased with these aircraft.”
“This is an exciting milestone in the production of these A-29s for the Nigerian Air Force. The Jacksonville production line is active, and Embraer and SNC look forward to seeing these aircraft continue to roll off the line in the coming months,” said Jackson Schneider, president & CEO, Embraer Defense & Security.
Nigeria ordered the planes in 2018 at a cost of $469million to add a new impetus to the war against Boko Haram and ISWAP.
Under the contract, Embraer and SNC will provide ground training devices, mission planning systems, mission debrief systems, spares, ground support equipment, and alternate mission equipment.
The contract also involves the delivery of contiguous US interim contractor support, outside of continental US (OCONUS) contractor logistic support and field service representatives for OCONUS support.
The A-29 Super Tucano is in service with the airforces of 13 countries around the world. With robust landing gear and enhanced clearance, the aircraft supports take-off and landing in challenging field conditions.
In addition, A-29 offers accuracy in weapons delivery, reports www.airforce-technology.com