The first of 12 A-29 SUPER TUCANO light attack, combat and reconnaissance aircraft destined for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has flown for the first time at the assembly plant in Jacksonville, FL. The announcement was made by Embraer Defense & Security and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) on 17 April.
The companies are producing the aircraft at Jacksonville to a delivery schedule that will see delivery to the NAF beginning in 2021. The aircraft will now begin mission modification and final testing in Centennial, CO, following which, NAF pilots will train in the aircraft prior to delivery.
“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,” commented Jackson Schneider, President & CEO, Embraer Defense & Security. “The aircraft met or exceeded all the requirements,” added Ed Topps, Vice President of Tactical Aircraft Systems and Programs for SNC’s IAS business area.
The combat-proven A-29 SUPER TUCANO is the most reliable and cost-effective solution for basic and advanced flight and combat training, close air support operations, ISR, armed over-watch, counterinsurgency and irregular warfare missions. It has already been selected by 15 air forces to deliver cost-effective close air support and reconnaissance capabilities.
In December 2018, SNC and Embraer Defense & Security were awarded the contract to deliver 12 A-29s to the NAF. The contract includes ground training devices, mission planning systems, mission debrief systems, spares, ground support equipment, alternate mission equipment and contractor logistic support.