The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has started construction of new facilities that will support the fleet of Nigerian A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.
The construction is starting after the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate’s foreign military sales construction division awarded a $36.1 million contract to USACE.
The facilities will include a new airfield hot cargo pad, perimeter and security fencing, munitions assembly and storage, small arms storage, a flight annex wing building for simulator training, airfield lighting, and various airfield apron, parking, hangar, and entry control point improvements.
Once completed, they will support 12 Nigerian Air Force A-29 aircraft that are being delivered by SNC and Embraer Defense & Security under a contract from December 2018. The contract also includes ground training devices, mission planning systems, mission debrief systems, and other support items.
“With this recent contract award, we are ready to be part of the modernization of Nigerian Air Force facilities and infrastructure,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Bruckbauer, director of the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate. “As a member of the Nigeria A-29 FMS Program, and this being AFSAC’s first major construction project in sub-Saharan Africa, we are thrilled to be able to support the Nigerian people in advancing their defensive capabilities. We look forward to building and strengthening this strategic partnership with the Nigerian people.”
Nigeria’s first A-29 completed its inaugural flight at the production facility in Jacksonville, Florida in April 2020. After the first flight, the aircraft began mission modification and final testing in Centennial, Colorado. Following final testing, before delivery, Nigerian Air Force pilots will train in the aircraft. SNC says it is on schedule to start deliveries to Nigeria in 2021.
The Super Tucano is capable of supporting basic and advanced flight and combat training, close air support operations, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), armed over-watch, counterinsurgency and irregular warfare scenarios. It is currently flown by 15 countries, according to SNC.