The first batch of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft have departed the United States of America for Nigeria, the Nigerian Airforce said.
Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, Director of Public Relations and Information said the six aircraft will be leapfrogged through five countries before landing in Nigeria end of July.
The countries of passage are Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Spain and Algeria.
Gabkwet said the aircraft will arrive their final destination in Nigeria towards the end of July 2021.
“An official induction ceremony of the aircraft into the inventory of the Nigerian Air Force is already being planned at a later date in August 2021 to be announced in due course”, Gabkwet said.
“The Office of the Director of Public Relations and Information remains open to any inquiry regarding the arrival and induction of the aircraft”, he added.
Nigeria ordered for 12 of the aircraft in 2018.
In November 2018, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) was awarded a $329 million Foreign Military Sales contract from the US government to build 12 A-29s for the Nigerian Air Force.
The armed turboprops are intended for use against Boko Haram and ISIS militants.
Nigeria paid for the 12 Super Tucano and other weapons in April 2018, at a cost of $462million. The entire cost may rise to $593 million.
The contract to build them was announced by U.S. Defence Department on 28 November and is worth $329m for the aircraft, although the total not-to-exceed amount is approved at $344.7m.
It will include Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) systems for six of the aircraft.
It also included Paveway II guided bombs, laser-guided rockets, 12.7 mm ammunition, unguided bombs, and infrared sensors.
In addition to the 12 aircraft, the contract provides for ground training equipment, mission planning systems, mission debrief systems, spares, ground support equipment, and support services.