Nigeria gets fighter jets from US for anti-terror campaign

Friday July 23 2021
Three Super Tucano Jets

Three Super Tucano Jets. FILE | EMBRAER | AFP


Nigeria has taken delivery of six of 12 fighter jets, type A-29 Super Tucano, supplied by the United States government.

The support service aircraft arrived in Nigeria on Friday and were at the Kano base of the Nigerian Air Force.

On hand to receive the jets were defence minister Ret. Maj-Gen Bashir Magashi, chief of army staff Lt. Gen Farouk Yahaya and chief of air staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao.

With the arrival of the jets, Nigeria has added to its arsenal as it steps up its fight against terrorists and bandits that have made the country unsafe for decades.

Nigeria in 2018 placed an order for 12 Super Tucano aircraft at a cost of $496 million to aid its war against insurgency.

Former President Donald Trump and the US Congress had approved the deal.


The US will also supply drones to Nigeria to help the west African country tackle its security challenges.

Mary Beth Leonard, the US ambassador to Nigeria, said at a meeting in Sokoto state in May 2021 that the drones would help Nigeria end the activities of bandits, kidnappers and Boko Haram.

She said: “Insecurity has short-changed the development of the country in many areas of human endeavour. America is concerned about the security situation of the country.”

The US, she explained, has been supporting Nigeria with information gathering and hardware to combat insecurity.

Some 14 pilots trained at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia to handle the Super Tucano fighter jets arrived in Nigeria last week.

The Super Tucanos, which came off the production line in Jacksonville, Florida, are equipped and flight-tested.

The secretary of the US Air Force, Barbara Barrett, who met members of Nigeria’s National Assembly and senior military officials at the ministry of defence highlighted the positive trajectory of the military cooperation between the two countries.