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Nigeria’s $500m Tucano jets, largest purchase in sub-Saharan Africa – US

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Nigeria’s purchase of 12 new A-29 Super Tucano jets at a sum of $500 million is the largest single arms procurement in sub-Saharan Africa, the United States Department of Defense has said.

Gen. Jeff Harrigian, the US Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa commander, disclosed this on Tuesday at the A-29 Super Tucano induction ceremony, hosted by Nigerian Minister of Defense Bashir Salihi Magashi and the Nigerian Air Force in Abuja.

“The Nigerian Air Force is one of our key partners that play a critical role in furthering regional security and stability,” Harrigian was quoted as saying in a statement by the US Embassy in Abuja.

“This ceremony symbolizes the strength of our unique partnership and underscores the value of training and working together,” he said.

The Super Tucanos were the impetus for the significant deepening of training and professional relationships, he added.

The statement said, “Precision targeting, air-to-ground integration, and human rights training are all included in the partnership between the U.S. and Nigeria.

“The aircraft will assist the Nigerian Air Force in their fight against violent extremist organizations including the Islamic State West Africa Province.

“The joint structure of air-to-ground integration also supports Nigerian Army and Navy operations.

“Nigeria purchased the A-29s through the Foreign Military Sales programme, which follows the Department of Defense’s “Total Package Approach” model and includes spare parts for several years of operation, contract logistics support, munitions, and a multi-year construction project to improve Kainji Air Base infrastructure.

“The total sale is valued at almost $500 million, making it the largest FMS program in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Harrigian said the A-29 is a prime tool to help Nigeria combat violent extremism and is vital to sustained deterrence.

“The total package deal—aircrew and maintainer training, precision-guided weapon delivery, and more—highlights our enduring partnership with the Nigerian Air Force and our commitment to enabling their successes where we can.”

A total of 64 pilots and maintainers from the Nigerian Air Force were trained to U.S. standards with the U.S. Air Force’s 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Base in Georgia, USA.

 

The training also emphasized the Law of Armed Conflict and civilian casualty mitigation, which are fundamental principles of the Nigerian military’s professional education and training.

 

As part of the programme, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing $36.1M in infrastructure support to the A-29s’ home base, Kainji Air Base, including covered magazines and aircraft sunshades, a new airfield hot cargo pad, perimeter and security fencing, airfield lights, and various airfield apron, parking, hangar, and entry control point enhancements.

 

The infrastructure package also includes a flight annex wing building for simulator training as well as munitions assembly and storage and small arms storage.

Aviation

No plane crashed in Lagos – FAAN, NEMA

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Two government agencies, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and National Emergency Management Agency, have dismissed reports of a fresh plane crash in the Ikeja area of Lagos.

An internet user who saw a plane being towed away had sent the picture to the social media, concluding that it was the wreckage of a fresh plane crash in Lagos.

The aircraft, which had missing wings, was spotted on Ikeja-Agege road, causing gridlock along the route on Tuesday as the news went viral on the social media.

But FAAN in a terse statement posted on its social media handles, said Nigerians should disregard the news.

It stated, “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria would like to inform the general public to disregard the news making the rounds on social media about an alleged crash at Ikeja Airport.

“The aircraft was sold by the owner to a buyer, who was taking it to its final destination.”

Also, Ibrahim Farinloye, the zonal coordinator, South-West, NEMA, said after due consultations with all critical stakeholders and tracking of all incoming and outgoing flights in Lagos, there was no plane.

An aviation analyst, Daniel Dikio, had also tweeted his observation of the viral video.

“It is an Airbus A319, hasn’t flown domestically in years. I can see traces of a green logo; it likely belonged to First Nation Airways in its time.

“The wings are separated cleanly; this wouldn’t happen in a crash. The separation is a sign of dismantling.

“There is no damage to the fuselage, almost impossible given the purported circumstances”, Dikio noted.

 

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Kaduna airport reopens for flight operations two months after attack

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Kaduna airport reopens for flight operations — two months after attack

The Kaduna airport has resumed flight operations two months after it was attacked by gunmen, forcing it to shut down.

Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and Azman Air confirmed the development on Monday.

Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs at FAAN, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, said that flight operations commenced on Monday.

“Flight operations to Kaduna airport have commenced today with Azman Air,” she said.

Gunmen attacked the airport and killed a security guard in March.

They were, however, repelled by security operatives.

On its official Twitter account, Azman Air announced the resumption of flights to the Kaduna airport, making it the first airline to resume operations on the route since the incident.

The airline had halted flight operations into Kaduna following the attack.

“Azman Air landed at Kaduna Airport today 23rd May, 2022, to the elation and cheers of passengers, stakeholders, and staff,” Azman Air tweeted.

“It was a defining moment for the aviation community as the airport is reopened after being closed for two months. It’s so exciting to be back!”

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Domestic flight cancellations imminent over Jet-A1 scarcity – AON

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The Airline Operators of Nigeria says disruption in flight operations is imminent as the scarcity of aviation fuel popularly known as Jet-Al worsens.

The alert is contained in a statement by spokesperson for the association, Obiora Okonkwo, on Monday.

It said the fuel scarcity was affecting smooth operations of air transport operations, adding that it would lead to flight rescheduling and cancellations.

It stated, “The Airline Operators of Nigeria wishes to alert the public of impending disruptions to scheduled flight operations of members of the association. This development is being forced on members by the growing scarcity of aviation fuel popular as Jet-Al.

“The scarcity is impacting negatively on the seamless conduct of air transport operations and would lead to flight rescheduling, and, or, cancellations.”

Okomkwo however said the association and its members were working tirelessly in alliance with product marketers, government and relevant stakeholders, to ensure availability and proper pricing of aviation fuel in the country.

He added, “While pleading the understanding of the flying public in the face of this reality, we also promise to do all that is necessary, and within our powers, to restore normal flight schedules as soon as possible.”

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