The U.S. Air Force Fighters and Advance Aircraft Directorate have told Nigeria that its 12 Tucano jet fighters will be ready for delivery between July and October.
Specifically, the United States stated that six jet fighters would be delivered in July while it would supply the other six in October.
The information was disclosed to the National Assembly Joint Committee on Defence currently in the U.S. on an inspection tour of Embraer Defence Security Incorporated, manufacturers of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.
A statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Edward Gabkwet, stated that the joint committee was in the U.S. to assess the status and progress of work on the aircraft.
According to Gabkwet, on arrival at EDSI, the team led by Michael Nnachi was briefed on the progress of work on the aircraft programme and the scheduled date of delivery.
While briefing the NASS team, Authur Ford of the U.S. Air Force Fighters and Advance Aircraft Directorate stated that 10 out of the 12 aircraft were ready for delivery to NAF.
The remaining two were undergoing modification and integration to NAF-specific operational configuration, he said. Mr Ford added that six aircraft were scheduled to arrive in July while the remaining six would be delivered before the end of October.
In his remarks, Mr Nnachi commended EDSI for the quality of work on the aircraft.
He, however, queried the long period from the date of full payment to the expected date of delivery, which he estimated to be between three to four years.
In his response, Ford informed the team that the long duration was due to the challenges of configuring the aircraft to fit NAF’s required specifications.
The team was received on arrival at Jacksonville, Florida, by the Nigerian Defence Attaché to the U.S., Jibrin Usman, and the Lead Foreign Liaison Officer on the aircraft, Sule Lawal, and senior management staff of EDSI.