IBRAHIM ABDULHAMID, SEPTEMBER 19, 2021, 08:33 PM
The second set of A-29 Super Tucano jets procured by the Federal Government of Nigeria for the war against terrorism is headed Nigeria.
Nigeria has in July already received the first six of the 12 it procured, which have also been already inducted into battle order.
Thisday Newspaper reported that the second set, also six in number, has departed the State of Georgia in the United States America and stopped over to refuel at Worcester on Wednesday before taking off Thursday.
They are expected in the country September 24, the paper said.
The Nigerian Armed Forces is undergoing major overhaul in the area of equipment and infrastructure, thanks to many violent crimes across the country and Nigerians' mounting agitations to see their end.
These have left the Nigerian government, under Muhammadu Buhari, a former major general, with no option other than to invest in re-equipping the military.
The Nigerian Air Force is one of the services that has seen the most of this investment, with several new fighter jets procured such as the JF-17, A-29 Super Tucano, Mushshak Trainer Aircraft, Mi-35M Helicopter Gunships, Bell 412 Helicopters, Agusta 109 Power Attack Helicopters, Mi-171E Helicopters. There are still others awaiting delivery.
The jets, ordered over almost four years ago, are expected to be a gamechanger in the ongoing war against insurgency in the North East and other parts of the country.
The Embrear war equipment, built 1999 and first introduced 2003, has so far recorded 360, 000 flying hours, with over 46, 000 combat hours. Over 230 of the warplane have been so far made and delivered to various fleets across the world, including the United States, Chile, Colombia and others, used mainly for counterinsurgency operations and border patrols, among other things.
As Nigeria inducts them Monday, here are some of the features of the Embrear 314 / A-29 Super Tucano jets according to Airforce Technology website.
The aircraft is fitted with two central mission computers. The integrated weapon system includes software for weapon aiming, weapon management, mission planning and mission rehearsal. Onboard recording is used for post mission analysis.
There are five hardpoints for carrying weapons, and the aircraft is capable of holding a maximum external load of 1,500kg. The aircraft is armed with two wing-mounted 12.7mm machine guns with a rate of fire of 1,100 rounds a minute and is capable of carrying general-purpose bombs and guided air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. Brazilian AF aircraft are armed with the MAA-1 Piranha short-range infrared guided air-to-air missile from Orbita.
The two-seat AT-29 is fitted with a forward-looking infrared AN/AAQ-22 SAFIRE turret on the underside of the fuselage. The SAFIRE thermal imaging system supplied by FLIR Systems is for targeting, navigation and target tracking. The system allows the aircraft to carry out night surveillance and attack missions.
In July 2012, Embraer and Boeing signed a cooperation agreement to add new weapons integration capacity on the A-29 Super Tucano to satisfy the requirements of the US Air Force LAS programme.
Savis, Bradar and Rockwell Collins entered into an agreement with Embraer to improve the defense applications of the aircraft in April 2017. The radar technology will be integrated into the Rockwell Collins FireStorm™ system to improve fire precision of the aircraft.
The aircraft is equipped with an advanced laser inertial navigation and attack system, a global positioning system (GPS) and a traffic alerting and collision avoidance system (TCAS).
EMB-314 Super Tucano is powered by a PT6A-68A turboprop engine, developing 969kW. The power plant is fitted with automatic engine monitoring and control. The ALX aircraft has a more powerful engine than the EMB-314.
The ALX’s Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-68/3 turboprop engine, rated at 1,600shp, drives a Hartzell five-bladed constant speed fully feathering reversible pitch propeller. The fuel capacity is 695l, which gives a range of over 1,500km and endurance of 6hrs 30mins.
EMB-314 can fly at the rate of 24m/s. The maximum and cruise speed of the aircraft are 530km/h and 593km/h respectively.
The range and service ceiling of the Super Tucano are 4,820km and 10,670m respectively. Its maximum endurance is six hours and 30 minutes. The aircraft weighs 3,020kg and has a maximum take-off weight of 5,200kg.
The all-glass cockpit is fully compatible with night-vision goggles. Brazilian AF ALX aircraft are equipped with avionics systems from Elbit Systems of Haifa, Israel, including a head-up display (HUD), advanced mission computer, navigation system, and two 6in x 8in colour liquid crystal multi-function displays.
The head-up display with 24° field of view and the advanced weapon delivery system are integrated through a MIL-STD-1553B data bus. The pilot is provided with a hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) control. The pilot is protected with Kevlar armour and provided with a zero/zero ejection seat. The clamshell canopy, hinged at the front and rear and electrically activated, is fitted with a de-icing system and features a windshield capable of withstanding, at 300k, the impact of a 4lb bird. A Northrop Grumman onboard oxygen generation system (OBOGS) is installed.
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