The United States Department of Defence on Wednesday announced it has awarded the contract for the manufacturing of 12 A-29 Super Tucano combat aircraft on behalf of the Nigerian Air Force.
The contract was awarded to Sierra Nevada Corporation, an American aerospace contractor, for an initial sum of $329 million. A clause, described as “undefinitised contract action (UCA)”, was, however, added that the contract sum could be varied, but not exceeding $344.7 million.
A defence contracting explainer said the UCA involves contracts whose terms, specifications, or price are not agreed upon before work commences.
This could be because the negotiation of a definitive contract action is not possible in sufficient time to meet the government’s requirements or a government’s interest demands that the contractor be given a binding commitment so that contract performance can begin immediately, and shall be as complete and definite as practicable under the particular circumstances.
Six of the aircraft would be equipped with Forward Looking Infrared System, a technology that senses radiation which is then converted to video output.
As part of the contract for the 12 Super Tucano combat jetliners, the Nigerian Air Force would receive ground training devices, mission planning systems, mission debrief systems, spares, ground support equipment and alternate mission equipment, the U.S. defence department said.
There would also be a contiguous U.S. interim contractor support, outside of continental U.S. (OCONUS) contractor logistic support, and five field service representatives for OCONUS support for three years, the U.S. Defence Department said.
The aircraft would be built in Jacksonville, Florida, southeastern United States, and is expected to be completed May 2024.
“Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $220,167,735 are being obligated at the time of award,” the department added.
President Muhammadu Buhari placed order for the aircraft in April, following extensive discussions with the U.S. government that led to the relaxing of a moratorium placed on military equipment sales to Nigeria.
Mr Buhari said the procurement would help strengthen Nigeria’s national security, as well as timely end to the Boko Haram war.
The Nigerian government transferred $469.4 million to the U.S. government in April, according to a letter he wrote to the National Assembly.