A delegation from the National Assembly have visited Embraer Defence Security Incorporated (EDSI), manufacturers of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.
The Nigerian Air Force shared photos from the visit on Twitter. It was also gathered that the NASS team visited the company in the US to assess the progress work on the aircraft. The visiting team which also included Honourables Babajimi Benson, Shehu Koko, Abubakar Maki and Honourable Abass Adigun were received on arrival at Jacksonville, Florida by the Nigerian Defence Attaché to the USA, Air Commodore Jibrin Usman, the Lead Foreign Liaison Officer on the A-29, Air Vice Marshal Sule Lawal and senior management staff EDSI.
On arrival at EDSI yesterday, 27 May 2021, the NASS team led by Senator Michael Nnachi, were briefed on the progress of work on the NAF A-29 Super Tucano programme and the scheduled date of delivery.
Nigerian Airforce Spokesperson, Edward Gabkwet further revealed that while briefing the NASS team, Colonel Authur Ford of the United States Air Force Fighters and Advance Aircraft Directorate stated that 10 out of the 12 aircraft were ready for delivery while 2 were undergoing modification and integration to NAF specific operational configuration.
He went on to state that 6 of the aircraft are scheduled to arrive in Nigeria in July 2021 while the remaining 6 will be delivered before the end of October 2021. The NASS team was assured that the aircraft, expected to play critical roles in the fight against insurgency and criminality, would be delivered as planned.
Senator Michael Nnachi who commended EDSI for the quality of work on the NAF A-29 Super Tucano, however queried the long duration of time from the date of full payment to expected date of delivery, which he estimated to be between 3 to 4 years.
In response, the Col Ford informed the team that the long duration was due to the challenges of configuring the aircraft to fit NAF’s required specifications.