The A-29 Super Tucano aircraft are only capable of flying a leisurely 458 km per hour, slower than the Alpha jet (994 km/h), the Tucano’s fuel-efficient engines can keep it aloft for up to nine hours and across ranges of nearly 1,770 kilometers. Far more than any other aircraft in the NAF inventory. The NAF attempts to strike insurgent bases repeatedly failed because our Alpha jets and Aero L-39ZA's had difficulty targeting the camps under dense tree cover. They could be vectored into position by ISR aircraft, but there is only a handful of them.
Photo: NAF Super Tucano "Condo Diamond" formation flying
The above attached illustrative imagery of a trio of A-29s that struck an insurgent encampment with rockets and Paveway II laser-guided bombs with targeting systems. Several insurgents survived the initial bombardment and returned fire at an incoming force of Nigerian troops. A second bombardment wiped out all resistance. There was little warning. When you see surrendered insurgents complain they were hit by surprise There is a reason for that.
The Super Tucano can reach hot spots in half the time it would take the Mi-35 Hind helicopter gunships, hence they are less likely to be hit by anti-aircraft fire, and can loiter at length over the battlefield. We have gotten so used to reports on insurgents surrendering, we usually are not privy to the situation that compelled thousands of insurgents to surrender to Nigerian troops. When images of Super Tucanos are on display it's not uncommon to see comments like, "Why are they not using it". Some people will insist they are not being utilized until they receive a direct call from Defence HQ informing them an airstrike just took place.
Credit: Defence News Nigeria
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