ABUJA, Nigeria, June 9 (UPI) — The Nigerian air force is hoping the United States may soon approve the sale of EMB-314 Super Tucano aircraft to the country.
Capt. Ayodele Famuyiwa said in a statement this week that the service expects the United States to soon authorize a sale of Super Tucanos, which would replace the nation’s ailing Alpha jets.
Though Super Tucano maker Embraer is based in Brazil, U.S. approval of the sale would be required if the aircraft are built at the Jacksonville, Fla., plant of Sierra Nevada Corporation, where Super Tucanos are currently being produced forAfghanistan and Lebanon.
The Super Tucano is a turobprop aircraft used for light attack, counterinsurgency, reconnaissance and close air support. The air force is also seeking to soon acquire Russian Mi-35 helicopter gunships and Pakistan’s Super Mushsack trainer aircraft.
Air force facilities have been expanded as a result of the proposed additions to the air fleet.
Expanded facilities will include personnel facilities, and apron expansion at the Yola International Airport for operations against the Boko Haram terrorist group.
The country is also grappling with the so-called Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group in western Nigeria that is waging war on the Niger Delta’s oil installations.