Nigeria is expected to receive six of the 12 Super Tucanos ordered from the United States in mid-July, the Presidency said on Tuesday.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, disclosed this on Twitter on Tuesday.
Garba posted a video of what appeared to be test-flight operations, which he credited to the Sierra Nevada Corporation, a private American aerospace firm.
“Six of the twelve Super Tucanos are on track to arrive in mid-July 2021. With the remaining six shortly after that. There are 14 Nigerian pilots currently training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia,” the presidential aide tweeted.
Test flight operations for @NigAirForce newly acquired Super Tucano combat aircraft.
— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) April 13, 2021
Shehu had in an interview in March admitted that the army has had some problem with procuring equipment, as they arrive “in bits and in pieces.”
“In August 2018, they allowed the Nigerian government to buy 12 super Tucano aircraft suitable for the kind of war we are fighting in the North-East,” he had said on Channels Television’s Politics Today last March.
“In addition to that, other arms of the military have also made procurements. The navy has done nearly 100 per cent of their procurement — equipment delivered.
“The airforce has bought a number of attack helicopters — 35 helicopters from Ukraine. Some of them have been commissioned on national television.
“We have bought a lot of drones, but with the army, there have been problems with procurement. Equipment has been coming bits and in pieces.
“This is not ideal. In fact, our biggest procurement is coming from the UAE. As I speak to you now, it is held up in a situation only diplomacy will resolve. We were talking to them last week; the Nigerian minister of defence actually had a meeting with the ambassador of the UAE to Nigeria, and the idea is to resolve this so that the equipment held up will be released. We need them here.”