*as six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft arrive
Tough time awaits bandits and terrorists in Nigeria as the first batch of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft procured from the United States of America arrived Nigeria on Thursday.
The aircraft, part of other fighter planes ordered by the Federal Government to boost the war against insurgents, bandits and other criminals in the country, will be deployed on combat missions any moment.
It is expected that the other combat aircraft will arrive Nigeria in the months ahead.
The aircraft arrived in Kano State on Thursday afternoon, the Nigerian Air Force said.
“On hand to receive the aircraft were the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir
Magashi (Rtd), Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao,” a statement signed by NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, noted.
Gabkwet had on July 15 said the aircraft had departed the US and will move through five countries before arrival in Nigeria.
“The first batch of 6 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft departed the United States of America on Wednesday, 14 July 2021 en route Nigeria,” he had said.
“The 6 aircraft will be leapfrogged through 5 countries, including Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Spain and Algeria before arriving at their final destination in Nigeria towards the end of July 2021.
“An official induction ceremony of the aircraft into the inventory of the Nigerian Air Force is already being planned at a later date in August 2021 to be announced in due course.”
Recall that the chief of air staff, Oladayo Amao, had earlier announced that the air force is expecting 20 fighter aircraft before the end of 2021.
He said aside from the batch which arrived on Thursday, six more A-29 Super Tucano aircraft will arrive in September, while two CH-3 and four CH-4 UCAVs will arrive in the country before the end of 2021.
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, had some months back hinted that Nigeria was expecting fighter planes from the US as the country steps up efforts to combat insecurity.
“About three years ago, the Federal Government and the United States signed a pact that resulted in a government to government acquisition of military equipment out of which we are expecting twelve Tucano aircraft or fighter planes that will help combat insecurity,” the apex bank boss explained during a two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja where he also expressed optimism that Nigeria will overcome its security challenges.
“I am aware that six of them are coming to the country in the months of July and August.”
The arrival of the aircraft is a major boost to the country’s fight against crimes especially in the northern region where threats from bandits and terrorists have continued to make headlines.