National Industry - Brazil Sells Super Tucano Aircraft to the U.S.
(Source: Brazilian Air Force; issued Feb. 27, 2013)
(Issued in Portuguese only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)

The Brazilian Super Tucano aircraft was announced late on Wednesday (27/2) as the winner of a competition to equip the U.S. Air Force. The aircraft was developed by Embraer in the 90s from requirements drawn up by the Brazilian Air Force. With the confirmation of the US purchase, this national product now has nine export customers.

"It is a source of pride for the FAB and for Brazil to know that an airplane designed on national soil to meet the operational needs of our Air Force, has been internationally recognized for its quality," said Lieutenant-Brigadier Saito Juniti Air, Air Force Commander.

In Brazil, the main use of the Super Tucano is for surveillance missions in the border regions from bases in Campo Grande (MS), Porto Velho (RO) and Boa Vista (RR). "Every day, we have proven the power of this aircraft to defend our country," Saito said.

The United States will acquire 20 Super Tucanos in a deal valued at $ 427.5 million. Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Angola, Mauritania and Burkina Faso have also acquired the aircraft.

According to Embraer, there are already more than 200 orders for the Super Tucano, which already makes it the best-selling combat aircraft in the history of the Brazilian defense industry. One hundred and seventy have already been delivered.

Development

The Super Tucano first flew on June 2, 1999. Embraer’s program was needed to fulfill the requirement of a Brazilian Air Force for an aircraft with low operating costs that could intercept small aircraft that tried to overfly Brazilian territory without permission.

For this reason, the aircraft is armed with two fixed .50 caliber machine guns and has onboard systems comparable with those of the most modern fighter aircraft.

It has night vision goggles (NVG) for pilots and multifunction color displays in place of traditional analog dials. The aircraft can also carry bombs, rockets and missiles under its wings.

The first deliveries to the FAB took place in August 2004. In all, 99 aircraft were acquired.

Besides the air police missions, the Super Tucano also is used to train future fighter, attack and reconnaissance pilots.

In 2012, the Super Tucano was also delivered to the Esquadrilha da Fumaça aerobatic team, which will carry out its presentations with their new Super Tucanos this year. In FAB service, the aircraft is designated A-29.

In action

In August 2011, the Super Tucano gained national prominence after missions that interdicted clandestine airstrips in the Amazon region, which were possibly used by traffickers and smugglers.

These operational missions have occurred since the first edition of Operation Agata, all of whose six editions have included A-29s.

The Super Tucano was also employed for security missions during major events like the Rio + 20, the inauguration of President Dilma Rousseff and the visit of US President Barack Obama.

The Brazilian Air Force also plans its use during the World Cup, the Confederations Cup and the Olympics.

"The Super Tucano is undoubtedly the best aircraft in operation today in the world to serve this niche, which is the light attack and air defense against small aircraft," said Air Force Commander Lt. Brig. Saito. (ends)



U.S. Air Force Selects the A-29 Super Tucano for Its Light Air Support Program
(Source: Embraer; issued February 27, 2013)
SÃO PAULO, Brazil --- The U.S. Air Force (USAF) announced today that it has selected the Embraer Defense and Security’s A-29 Super Tucano for its Light Air Support (LAS) program.

The aircraft will be supplied in partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) as the prime contractor, and will be used to conduct advanced flight training, aerial reconnaissance, and light air support operations. After a thorough rebidding process, the USAF considered the overall solution offered by Embraer Defense and Security and SNC to be the superior choice for this critical mission.

“This award confirms that the A-29 Super Tucano is the best aircraft for LAS operations. We are ready to start working and honored to support the U.S. Government and its partners with a cost-effective solution,” said Luiz Carlos Aguiar, President and CEO of Embraer Defense and Security. “We are committed to pursuing our investment strategy in the United States and to delivering these aircraft on schedule and within budget.”

“The Light Air Support program is essential to the United States’ objectives in Afghanistan and to our national security. It is a great honor to serve our country by providing the aircraft, training and support for this program,” said Taco Gilbert, Vice President of Integrated Tactical Solutions for SNC’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance business area. “The A-29 Super Tucano with its proven track record is exactly what’s needed for the LAS program where the mission is critical and time is short.”

As specified by the U.S. Air Force, this is a USD 427 million contract for 20 Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft, as well as ground-based devices to support pilot training and all maintenance and supply requirements for the aircraft and associated equipment. The aircraft selected for the LAS program will be built in Jacksonville, Florida.

The A-29 Super Tucano is a robust, versatile and powerful turboprop aircraft capable of carrying out a wide range of missions, including close air support and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The airplane is in use with nine air forces around the world and, for more than five years, has employed state-of-the-art munitions on real operational missions.

More than 190 Super Tucanos have been ordered, and over 170 delivered. The aircraft has logged more than 180,000 flight hours and 28,000 combat hours. It is equipped with advanced electronic, electro-optic, infrared and laser system technologies, as well as secure radio systems with data links and unrivalled munitions capacity. This makes it highly reliable and allows for an excellent cost-benefit ratio for a wide range of military missions, even operating from unpaved runways and in hostile environments. These characteristics, along with its proven combat record, make it the logical choice for the LAS mission.

The LAS mission requires a non-developmental solution that provides the versatility, engagement, and persistence that the warfighter needs in a counterinsurgency environment, at a significantly lower cost than fighter jets. That aircraft must offer intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities; deliver a wide variety of munitions (including precision guided weapons); and operate in extremely rugged terrain and austere conditions.


Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is one of America’s fastest growing private companies based on its significant expansion and reputation for rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions in electronics, aerospace, avionics, space, propulsion, micro-satellite, aircraft, communications systems and solar energy. SNC employs over 2,500 people in 32 locations in 16 states.


Embraer Defense and Security is a business unit of Embraer S.A., with over 40 years of experience in providing Armed Forces around the world with superior platforms and systems to aid in their defense and security. With its growing presence in the global market, the Company plays a strategic role in Brazil’s defense. Embraer Defense and Security’s product portfolio includes military airplanes, state-of-the-art radar technologies, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and advanced information and communications systems.

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