Nigeria Air Force to get 12 A-29 Super Tucano for $600M USD.

A pair of A-29 Super Tucano in flight
A senior Nigerian military source in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, confirmed that the sale of A-29 Super Tucano would go ahead and said it would also involve training, surveillance and military intelligence “to support the ongoing insurgency war.” The Super Tucano is expected to replace the venerable Dassault Alpha Jets used by the Nigerian Air Force. The A-Jets has carried out the bulk of the ground attack raids against the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT)
It said after more than 10 years in action, the super tucano has gained an excellent performance record with over 230,000 flight hours and 30,000 combat hours.According to the company, the A-29 super tucano is currently used by 10 air forces.
Although the Nigerian acquisition of the aircraft is a welcome development but not at such exorbitant price. Comparably, The US Government bought 20 units of the A29 Super Tucano for about 420 million which includes provision for pilot training and support. To put things in perspective, The U.S Government acquired the Super Tucano for a unit price of just 21 million dollars (twice the base price), How come Nigeria is paying five (5) times the base price?

Furthermore, Colombia paid just 10 million dollars for the same aircraft and the plane has been in combat for years now. Ghana paid $88 million for 5 super Tucanos which includes logistics support and a training system for pilots and mechanics in Ghana.

List of arms the Nigerian Government could have bought with $600M USD.
  • The TOTAL cost of the JF-17 Thunder program is $500M USD
  • Thirteen J-10 fighter aircraft is $300M USD
  • Ten SU-30K strike fighters  $375M USD
  • The Sukhoi 25 frogfoot has an approximate price of 25 million dollars per unit cost
  • Turkey purchased block 50 F 16’s for 57 million dollars apiece from Lockheed Martin, 
  • Egypt expressed interest in Mig 29’s at 44 million USD per unit
  • Yak 130 at $15 million dollar per unit
  • L-8 at $10 million dollar per unit
  • Su-25 Frogfoot at $11 million
  • Su-27 Flanker at $35 million per unit
  • Su-30 Flanker at $47 million per unit
  • Alenia Aermacchi M-346 at $21 million per unit.
  • Mikoyan Mig 29 Fulcrum at 16 million per unit
  • BAE HAWK at $12 million per unit
  • Chengdu J-10 Fierce Dragon at $41 million per unit.
  • the Type 054A Frigate currently costs a total of approximately $348 million per vessel
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A unit of Su-30 Super Flanker cost about $47 million USD
Image result for Chengdu J-10 Fierce Dragon
Chengdu J-10 Fierce Dragon sells at $41 million per unit.
Some experts in USA suggests that the sale is just a ‘vanity’ project to appease the United State Government, While others think that it is a privilege to be receiving arms from the United State of America.
Whatever the reason behind the sale it does not bode well for future acquisition of arms for Nigeria because it will signal to the international arms market that the Nigerian Government is desperate to buy arms at whatever the cost.

A defence expert jokingly reported on a Nigerian online forum that Nigeria is indirectly paying for the 59 Tomahawk missile fired into Syria weeks ago by the US Navy.😄😄😄

The Nigerian Government acquisition of arms is always shrouded in secrecy for the simple reason of corruption and massive kickbacks. The cost of the twelve planes constitute half of the annual defense budget of Nigeria. This at a time when the country’s economy is struggling to climb out of a recession, it is already struggling to pay the salaries of soldiers on the frontlines, and there is a significant funding gap for the humanitarian programs in the country’s war-torn North.


  1. AHRLAC Holdings Ahrlac
  2. FMA IA 58 Pucará (Argentina)
  3. Pilatus PC-21 (Switzerland)
  4. Soko J-20 Kraguj (Yugoslavia / Serbia)
  5. TAI Hürkuş (Turkey)
  6. UTVA Kobac (Serbia)
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This super sophisticated Chinese made Type 054A frigate can be acquired with $345 Million USD

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  • Nigeria to buy JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft and Super Mushak from PakistanUS blocks Nigeria from buying aircraft from Brazil.REINCARNATION: How the Biafran Baby returns to fight for Nigeria.Nigeria acquires the PAC Super Mushak

Ekene Lionel

Techy, Futurist, Award-winning defense technology writer.