The US ambassador to Nigeria has presented a letter of acceptance to the Nigerian air force for the sale of 12 Embraer A-29 Super Tucanos, Nigerian officials say.

“The US ambassador also indicated the readiness of relevant US Government officials to work with NAF officials to facilitate the early delivery of the aircraft once payment had been made,” he release states.

The Nigerian government expects to sign the LOA before 20 February so production of the light attack and advanced training turboprop fighters can begin.

The full value of the $593 million foreign military sale includes the aircraft, weapons, training, spare parts and facilities to support the programme, according to an August notification to Congress by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

The US State Department approved the sale in August despite concerns expressed by the Obama administration over the Nigerian government’s bombing of civilians.

After a Nigerian Air Force fighter bombed a northeast refugee camp near the border with Cameroon in January 2017, reportedly killing at least 100 civilians, Obama froze the A-29 deal.

But in a policy reversal a few months later, the Trump administration restarted the approval process and pushed for the sale to support Nigeria’s fight against the terrorist group Boko Haram.