Exclusive Report - Nigeria's 12 Tucano jets to fight Boko Haram won't be ready until 2024 - Exclusive News | Viatrends Blog

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Friday, 30 November 2018

Exclusive Report - Nigeria's 12 Tucano jets to fight Boko Haram won't be ready until 2024

The Nigerian government won't receive the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets it paid the United States government the sum of $469.4 million for until 2024.

2020 had been set as the initial delivery date of the jets but that has now been extended by four years.

President Muhammadu Buhari had controversially withdrawn the sum in question from the excess crude account, without the initial approval of the National Assembly, for the procurement of the jets which the government hopes will improve national security and help in its fight against terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Even though the delivery date was reported to be set for 2020, the United States Department of Defence has revealed that the fighter jets won't be ready for delivery till 2024.

The Defence Department announced on Wednessday, November 28 that the contract for the jets has been awarded to Sierra Nevada Corporation. The contract, worth $329 million, includes Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) systems installed in six of the aircrafts.
The contract also provides for ground training equipment, mission planning systems, mission debrief systems, spares, ground support equipment and support services for personnel of the Nigeria Air Force.

The manufacturing of the fighter jets will take place in Jacksonville, Florida, according to the Department of Defence.
The late delivery date of the jets had previously nearly stalled the deal and the new date is expected to create further friction, especially with a resurgence in Boko Haram's activities in the northeast region.
Boko Haram's troubling resurgence
12 days ago, terrorists belonging to Boko Haram faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) , overran the 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele » village in Guzamala local government area of Borno during an attack on November 18.

Even though many reports indicated that over 100 soldiers were killed in the attack with many others missing, the Army disclosed in a statement on Wednesday, November 28, that 23 soldiers were killed » with 31 others injured.
The statement also revealed that terrorists staged a series of attacks on Nigerian troops » between November 2 and November 17. The attacks took place in Kukawa, Ngoshe , Kareto and Gajiram, all in Borno, but were 'successfully repelled' by troops who killed 'several members' of the terrorist group. However, 16 soldiers were killed in the attacks while 12 were injured.
The Army also noted that despite systematically degrading Boko Haram in the past three years, the terrorists are staging a resurgence with daring moves that include the increased use of drones against troops' defensive positions and infusion of foreign fighters in their ranks.
Eliminate Boko Haram 'from face of the earth'
President Buhari was in Maiduguri, Borno State on Wednesday to declare open the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Annual Conference » as the guest of honour.
While delivering his speech, the president charged the military's leadership to ensure that their plans and programmes meet the nation's security challenges. He also urged the Army to remain committed to defeating Boko Haram.
"I want to encourage our troops not to be distracted by whatever speculations but remain focused and committed to the task of eliminating

Via Pulse.ng
Boko Haram from the face of the earth," he said.
He said security remains one of the cardinal objectives of his administration and promised that no effort will be spared to support troops, including reviewing their welfare package.
"I want to assure you that, as your commander in chief, I will do everything within my powers to continue empowering you by providing all the necessary equipment for you to prevail on the field.
"I also want you to be aware that I'm currently looking into measures to improve your entitlements and welfare generally," he said.

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