US approves Super Tucano attack planes for Nigeria

A-29 Super Tucano

The US State Department has approved a $593 million sale to Nigeria of A-29 Super Tucano attack planes with associated parts, training, facilities and weapons.

According to United Press International, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered their certification of the foreign military sale to Congress, as required by law, on August 2.

The twelve A-29s are expected to be used in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents and other extremist groups, such as the Islamic State West Africa splinter group.

The A-29 attack planes are equipped with wing-mounted machine guns, weapons integration with advanced surveillance, precision-guided bombs, and even air-to-air missiles.

Super Tucano operators will be trained not only in targeting, but in human rights and the law of armed conflict in other to avoid civilian casualty.

The DSCA has determined that U.S. security interests are served by assisting Nigeria in its counter-insurgency operations and that the A-29 sale will not significantly alter the military balance of power in the region.

The Obama administration put a halt to the sale of the jet after a Nigerian Air Force fighter accidentally bombed a northeast refugee camp, killing at least 100 civilians.

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