Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano

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EMB 314 / A-29 Super Tucano
Super Tucano at URUBRA I exercise.jpg
Brazilian Air Force A-29B
Role Attack aircraft and Counter insurgency
National origin Brazil
Manufacturer Embraer Defense and Security
First flight 2 June 1999
Introduction 2003
Status In production
Primary users Brazilian Air Force
Colombian Air Force
Ecuadorian Air Force
Chilean Air Force
Produced 2003–present
Number built +180
Unit cost

$9–14 million[1]

$430–500/hour (operational cost)[2][3]
Developed from Embraer EMB 312 Tucano

The Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano (About this sound pronunciation), also named ALX or A-29 is a turboprop aircraft designed for light attack, counter insurgency (COIN), close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions in low threat environments, as well as providing pilot training. Designed to operate in high temperature and humidity conditions in extremely rugged terrain, the Super Tucano is highly maneuverable, has a low heat signature, incorporates 4th generation avionics and weapons system to deliver precision guided munitions. It is currently in service with the air forces of Angola, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Indonesia, and has been ordered by Senegal and the United States Air Force.[4]

Design and development[edit]

During the mid-1980s Embraer was working on the Short Tucano alongside a new version designed EMB-312G1, carrying the same Garrett engine. The EMB-312G1 prototype flew for the first time in July 1986. However, the project was dropped because the Brazilian Air Force was not interested in it. Nonetheless, the lessons from recent combat use of the aircraft in Peru and Venezuela led Embraer to keep up the studies. Besides a trainer, it researched a helicopter attack version designed "Helicopter killer" or EMB-312H.[5] The study was stimulated by the unsuccessful bid for the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) program. A proof-of-concept prototype, the PT-ZTW flew for the first time in September 1991, the aircraft features a 1.37-meter (4.49-ft) fuselage extension with the addition of sections before and after of the cockpit to restore its center of gravity and stability, a strengthened airframe, cockpit pressurization and stretched nose to house the more powerful PT6A-67R (1,424 Shp) engine. Two new prototypes with the PT6A-68A (1,250 Shp) engine were built in 1993. The second prototype flew for the first time in May 1993 and the third prototype flew in October 1993.[6]

The request for a light attack aircraft was part of the Brazilian government's SIVAM (Amazon Surveillance System) Project. This aircraft would fly with the R-99A and R-99B aircraft currently in service and would be responsible for intercepting illegal aircraft flights and patrolling Brazil's borders. The ALX Project was then created by the Brazilian Air Force, which was also in need of a military trainer to replace the Embraer EMB 326GB Xavante. The project of the new aircraft was suited to the Amazon region (high temperature, moisture, and precipitation; low threat). The ALX was then specified as a turboprop engine aircraft with a long range and autonomy, able to operate in night and day, in any meteorological conditions, and able to land on short airfields lacking infrastructure.[7]

EMB-312H Prototype

In August 1995, the Brazilian Ministry of Aeronautics awarded Embraer a $50 million contract for ALX development. Two EMB-312H were updated to serve as ALX prototypes. These made their initial flights in their new configuration in 1996 and 1997, respectively. The initial flight of a production-configured ALX, further modified from one of the prototypes, occurred in 2 June 1999. The second prototype brought up to two-seater configuration and performing its first flight on 22 October 1999. The changes had been so considerable that the type was given a new designation, the "EMB-314 Super Tucano".[6]

The aircraft differs from the baseline EMB-312 Tucano trainer aircraft in several crucial respects. It is powered by a more powerful 1,600 Shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68C engine (compared with the 750 Shp powerplant of the EMB-312); has a strengthened airframe to sustain higher g loads and to increase the aircraft's fatigue life (to 18,000–12,000 hours in operational environments); a reinforced landing gear to handle greater takeoff weights with a heavier stores load, now up to 1,550 kilograms (3,300 pounds); Kevlar armour protection; two internal wing-mounted .50 calibre machine guns (with 200 rounds of ammunition each);[8] capacity to carry a variety of ordnance on five weapon hardpoints including Giat NC621 20 mm cannon pods, Mk 81/82 bombs, MAA-1 Piranha air-to-air missiles (AAMs), BLG-252 cluster bombs and SBAT-70/19 or LAU-68A/G rocket pods on its underwing stations; and has a night-vision goggle (NVG)-compatible "glass cockpit" with hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) controls; provision for a datalink; a video camera and recorder; an embedded mission-planning capability; forward-looking infrared (FLIR); chaff/flare dispensers; missile approach warning receiver systems (MAWS) and radar warning receivers (RWRs); zero-zero ejection seats.[9] The aircraft structure is corrosion-protected and the side-hinged canopy has a windshield able to withstand any bird strike impact at 270 kts.[10]

In 1996, Embraer selected the Israeli firm Elbit Systems to supply the mission avionics for the ALX. For this contract, Elbit was chosen over GEC-Marconi and Sextant Avionique. The Israeli company supplies such equipment as the mission computer, head-up displays, and navigation and stores management systems.[11]

A-29B structural fatigue test

On 13 October 2010, the Super Tucano A-29B had passed the mark of 48,000 hours since 21 July 2005 on full scale wing-fuselage structural fatigue test, conducted by the Aeronautical Systems Division (ASA), part of the Aeronautics and Space Institute (IAE) at the Structural Testing Laboratory. The test involves a complex system of hydraulics and tabs that apply pressure to aircraft structure, simulating air pressure from flying at varying altitudes. The simulation of the test will continue for another year in order to complete the fatigue life test of the engine and studies of crack propagation within the program of damage tolerance analysis conducted by Embraer and IAE/ASA.[12][13]

Embraer developed an advanced training and support system suite called Training Operational Support System (TOSS) an integrated computational tool composed of four systems: Computer Based Training (CBT) enabling the student to rehearse the next sortie on a computer simulation; Aviation Mission Planning Station (AMPS) which uses the 3D visuals to practice planned missions and to check inter-visibility between aircraft and from aircraft and other entities; Mission Debriefing Station (MDS) employs real aircraft data to playback missions for review and analysis; Flight Simulator (FS).[14] MPS and MDS was enhanced with MAK’s 3D visualization solution to support airforces pre-existing data, including GIS, Web-based servers and a plug-in for custom terrain formats.[15]

In 2012, Boeing Defense, Space & Security was selected to provide integration of Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and Small Diameter Bombs (SDB) for the Super Tucano.[16] A year later, Embraer Defense and Security CEO disclosed that its subsidiary, OrbiSat, is developing a radar to be fitted into the aircraft.[17] A Colombian General disclosed that the future Side looking airborne radar (SLAR) will be able to locate ground targets smaller than a car with digital precision.[18]

Operational history[edit]

Brazil[edit]

EDA's Super Tucano painted with the Brazilian Flag.

In August 2001, the Brazilian Air Force awarded Embraer a contract for 76 Super Tucano / ALX aircraft with options for a further 23. A total of 99 aircraft were acquired from a contract estimated to be worth around $214.1 USD millions, 66 of these aircraft are two seater versions, designated A-29B. The remaining 33 aircraft are the single seat A-29 ALX version.[19] The first aircraft was delivered in December 2003. By September 2007, 50 aircraft had entered service.[20] The 99th, and last, aircraft was delivered in June 2012.[21]

One of the main missions of the aircraft is border patrol under the SIVAM programme. On 3 June 2009, two Brazilian Air Force Super Tucanos, guided by an Embraer E-99, intercepted an Cessna U206G engaged in drug trafficking activities. Inbound from Bolivia, the Cessna was intercepted in the region of Alta Floresta d'Oeste and, after exhausting all procedures, one of the Super Tucanos fired a warning shot from its 12.7 mm machine guns, after which the aircraft followed the Super Tucanos to Cacoal airport. This incident was the first use of powers granted under the Shoot-Down Act, which was enacted in October 2004 in order to legislate for the downing of illegal flights. A total of 176 kg of pure cocaine base paste, enough to produce almost a ton of cocaine, was discovered on board the Cessna; the aircraft's two occupants attempted a ground escape before being arrested by Federal Police in Pimenta Bueno.[22]

Operation Ágata[edit]

On 5 August 2011, Brazil started Operation Ágata, part of a major "Frontiers Strategic Plan" launched in June, with almost 30 continuous days of rigorous military activity in the region of Brazil’s border with Colombia, it mobilized 35 aircraft and more than 3,000 military personnel of the Brazilian Army, Brazilian Navy and Brazilian Air Force surveillance against drug trafficking, illegal mining and logging, and trafficking of wild animals. A-29s of 1 / 3 º Aviation Group (GAV), Squadron Scorpion, launched a strike upon an illicit airstrip, deploying eight 230 kg (500 lb) computer-guided Mk 82 bombs to render the airstrip unusable.[23]

Dropped by a Super Tucano during Operation Ágata 1, a Mk 82 strikes an illegal airstrip.

Multiple RQ-450 UAVs were assigned for night operations, locating remote jungle airstrips used by drug smuggling gangs along the border. The UAVs were typically guarded by several E-99 aircraft. The RQ-450 located targets for the A-29 Super Tucanos, allowing them to bomb the airstrips with an extremely high level of accuracy, making use of night-vision systems and computer systems calculating the impact points of munitions.[24]

On 15 September 2011, Brazil launched the Operation Ágata 2 on the borders with Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay. Part of this border is the infamous Triple Frontier. A-29s from Maringá, Dourados and Campo Grande, and Brazilian upgraded Northrop F-5 Tiger II/F-5EMs from Canoas, intercepted a total of 33 aircraft during Operation Ágata 2 in this area.[25] Brazilian forces had seized 62 tons of narcotics, made 3,000 arrests and destroyed three illicit airstrips, while over 650 tons of weapons and explosives have been seized.[26]

On 22 November 2011, Brazil launched the Operation Ágata 3 on the borders with Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay. It involved 6,500 personnel, backed by 10 ships and 200 land patrol vehicles, in addition to 70 aircraft, including fighter, transport and reconnaissance aircraft. This was the largest Brazilian coordinated action involving the Army, Navy and Air Force against illegal trafficking and organized crime, along a border strip of almost 7,000 km. A-1(AMX), Northrop F-5 Tiger II/ F-5EM and A-29 Super Tucanos from Tabatinga, Campo Grande, Cuiabá, Vilhena and Porto Velho were employed in defending air space, supported by AEW&C´s E-99, equipped with a 250 km range radar capable of detecting low flying aircraft, and R-99, remote sensing and surveillance.[27]

On 7 December 2011, Brazilian Ministry of Defence informed the nation that drug seizures were up by 1,319% over the last six months, compared to prior six months.[28]

Chile[edit]

In August 2008 the Chilean Air Force signed a contract valued at $120 millions for 12 A-29B.[29] The contract includes a broad Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) package and an advanced Training and Operation Support System (TOSS), covering not only the aircraft, but also an integrated suite for ground support stations. The FACH’s TOSS consists of three systems: a Mission Planning Station (MPS) in which instructor and student program all phases of flight, setting the various parameters of each phase along with navigation, communications, goals and simulations; a Mission Debriefing Station (MDS) empowering students with the ability to review all and each flight aspects and phases, enabling to look at the errors and correct them for their next mission; and a Flight Simulator (FS).[30]

The first four aircraft arrived in December 2009, with the remaining deliveries taking place on March, April and May of the following year.[31] The aircraft are based at Los Cóndores Air Base (45 km from Iquique) and are used for tactical instruction at the 1st Air Brigade for the Aviation Group #1,[32] the fully digital cockpit allow students to do a smooth transition between T-35 Pillán (basic trainer) to the F-16.[31]

Colombia[edit]

A-29 Super Tucano of the Colombian Air Force

A total of 25 Super Tucanos (variant AT-29B) were purchased by the Colombian Air Force in a 234 million USD deal, purchased directly from the Brazilian company Embraer. The first three aircraft arrived in the morning of 14 December 2006 to the military airfield of CATAM in Bogotá. Two more aircraft were delivered on the week of 16 December 2006, 10 more in the first half of 2007 and the rest in June 2008.[33]

On 18 January 2007, a squadron of Colombian Air Force Super Tucanos launched the first-ever combat mission of its type, attacking FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) positions in the jungle with Mark 82 bombs. This attack made use of the Super Tucano's CCIP (Continuously Computed Impact Point) capability; the aircraft's performance in action was a reported success.[3]

On 11 July 2012, the first aircraft was lost near the Jambalo town, when the aircraft were flying in one operation against Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), rebels claim they shot down the aircraft with .50 (12.7 mm) machine gun, however, the Colombian Air Force challenged the rebel group's claims after inspection of the aircraft wreckage.[34]

Operation Phoenix[edit]

In 2008, the Colombian Air Force used a Super Tucano armed with Griffin laser guided bombs inside Ecuadorian airspace during "Operation Phoenix", to destroy a guerrilla cell and kill the second-in-command chief of FARC, Raúl Reyes. This event led to an Andean diplomatic break between the two countries.[35]

Operation Sodoma[edit]

See also:

On 21 September 2010, Operation Sodoma in the Meta department began, 120 miles south of the capital Bogotá. FARC commander Mono Jojoy was killed in a massive military operation in the early hours of 22 September, a squadron of 25 EMB-314 launched seven tonnes of explosives on the camp, while some 600 special forces troops descended by rope from helicopters, opposed by 700 guerrillas. 20 guerrillas died in the attack.[36]

Operation Darién[edit]

On 2 October 2010, Super Tucanos using infrared cameras spotted and bombarded the FARC 57th front in the Chocó Department just a kilometer away from the Panama border. The bombardment killed five rebels, including, several commanders of the group.[37]

Operation Odiseo[edit]

Colombian Super Tucano deploys flares
See also:

On 15 October 2011, Operation Odiseo started with a total of 969 different military bodies of the Colombian armed forces. A total of 18 aircraft participated in "Operation Odiseo". On 4 November 2011, five Super Tucanos were used to launch a heavy bombing of 100 lb(45 kg) and 250 lb(135 kg), plus high-precision smart bombs. This operation ended with the death of the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC), Alfonso Cano. It was biggest blow in the history of the guerrilla organization.[38]

Operation Frontera[edit]

At dawn of 22 February 2012, EMB-314 aircraft identified the camp of the FARC's 57th Front, 15 kilometers north of Bojayá near the border with Panama. The Super Tucano dropped two high-precision bombs destroying the camp and killing six FARC rebels including Pedro Alfonso Alvarado alias "Mapanao", responsible for the Bojayá massacre in 2002 which killed 119 civilians.[39][40]

Espada de Honor War Plan[edit]

The Espada de Honor War Plan is an aggressive Colombian counterinsurgency strategies that aims to dismantle FARC´s structure, crippling both militarily and financially. The plan targets FARC leadership and it is focused on eliminating 15 of the most powerful economic and military fronts.[41]

At the dawn of 21 March 2012, five Super Tucanos at Operacion Faraón were engaged on a bombardment mission in which 33 rebels were killed at the FARC´s 10th Front guerrilla camp in Arauca, near Venezuelan border.[42][43] Five days later, on Operation Armagedón nine Super Tucano took off at 2:40am from Apiay Air Base heading toward the FARC´s 27th front camp in Vista Hermosa, Meta, launching 40 guided bombs of 500 pounds and using coordinates received from a guerrilla informant recruited by the police intelligence. In just three minutes of bombardment, the guerrilla camp was totally destroyed and 36 rebels were killed.[44] On the last weekend of May, Super Tucanos bombarded a National Liberation Army (ELN) camp located in countryside of Santa Rosa at Bolívar Department.[45] On 31 May 2012, a bombardment over the Western Front of the ELN at an inhospitable area of the Choco Department killed seven rebels.[46] On 6 June 2012, during a minute and half bombardment over FARC's 37th front located on northern Antioquia Department five Super Tucano dropped 250 kg bombs killing 8 rebels.[47] On 6 July 2012, after 72 hours of continual bombardment over FARC´s 7th Front, the army of Colombian regained control in rural towns of Toribio, Miranda and Monterredondo at Cauca Department.[48] On September, Super Tucanos were used for reconnaissance and close air support during a "OMEGA" operation; As a result of the operation, there were 7 terrorists gunned down and 4 captured; between them aka "Fredy Cooper" leader of the Public Order Company from the 7th front.[49] On 5 September 2012, "Danilo Garcia," leader of the 33rd Front of the FARC guerrilla organization was killed in a bombing raid. Danilo, was considered "the right hand of supreme FARC leader alias Timochenko". Intelligence reports indicate that the bodies of 15 guerrillas may have been buried in the bombing.[50] Eight A-29 carried out an air strike in 27 September during Operación Saturno at the FARC's 37th front camp in the northwest of Antioquia department, resulting in the death of Efrain Gonzales Ruiz aka "Pateñame" leader of the 35th and 37th front, 13 of his fellows.[51][52] In early April 2013, two Super Tucanos bombarded the FARC's 59th front fort in Serranía del Perijá municipality Barrancas, La Guajira.[53]

Dominican Republic[edit]

In August 2001, Embraer announced the signing of a contract with the Dominican Republic for 10 Super Tucano aircraft, to be used for pilot training, internal security, border patrol and counter-narcotics trafficking missions. The order was reduced to eight aircraft in January 2009, for a total amount of US$ 93 million.[54] The first two Super Tucano aircraft were delivered to the Dominican Republic on 18 December 2009. Three were delivered in June 2010 and the remaining three in October 2010.[55]

In February 2011, Dominican Republic Air Force Chief of Operations, Col. Hilton Cabral stated: "since the introduction of the Super Tucano aircraft and ground-based radars, illicit air tracks into the Dominican Republic had dropped by over 80 percent."[56] In August 2011, the Dominican Air Force said that since taking delivery of the Super Tucanos in 2009, it has driven away drug flights to the point that they no longer enter the country's airspace.[57] In May 2012, the Dominican president Leonel Fernández gave cooperative order for the army forces to support a fleet of Super Tucanos for the anti-drugs fight on Haiti.[58]

Ecuador[edit]

Super Tucano Ecuadorian Air Force

Ecuadorian Air Force operates 18 Super Tucanos, they are established at Manta Air Base in two squadrons: 2313 "Halcones" (used for border surveillance and flight training) and 2311 "Dragones" (used for Counter-insurgency).[59] Ecuadorian Super Tucanos uses the PT-6A-68A (1,300 shp) engine.[60]

On 23 March 2009, Embraer announced that negotiations over a nine-month-old agreement with the Ecuadorian air force have finally been completed. The deal covers the supply of 24 turboprop-powered Super Tucanos, with these to replace Ecuador’s ageing fleet of Vietnam-era Cessna A-37 Dragonfly strike aircraft, and help re-assert control over the country’s airspace.[61]

In May 2010, after receiving its sixth Super Tucano from a contract worth $270 million, Ecuador announced a reduction in its order for the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano from 24 to 18 aircraft to release funds to buy some used South African Air Force Denel Cheetah C fighters. By cutting its order for the EMB-314 type, the Defence Ministry says the accrued savings would allow it to purchase the secondhand Cheetahs, and bolster the air force's flagging air defence component.[62]

United States[edit]

One Super Tucano was purchased by a subsidiary of Blackwater Worldwide, an American private military contracting firm.[63][64] The aircraft did not have the machine guns normally attached to the wings. In 2012, that aircraft was subsequently purchased by Tactical Air Support, Inc. of Reno, Nevada.[65][66]

In 2008, the U.S. Navy began testing the Super Tucano at the behest of the U.S. Special Operations Command for its potential use to support special warfare operations,[67] giving it the official U.S. designation A-29B.[68] The Super Tucano was offered in a U.S. Air Force competition for 100 counterinsurgency aircraft in 2009.[69]

On 12 April 2010, Brazil signed a defensive pact that opened negotiations for the acquisition of 200 Super Tucanos from Embraer by the U.S.[70] After excluding the AT-6 from the LAS Program on 16 November 2011, the U.S. Air Force has apparently chosen the Embraer Super Tucano to meet the Light Air Support (LAS) requirement. According to GAO: "the Air Force concluded that HBDC had not adequately corrected deficiencies in its proposal. In this regard, the agency concluded that multiple deficiencies and significant weaknesses found in HBDC’s proposal make it technically unacceptable and results in unacceptable mission capability risk". Hawker Beechcraft's protest against its exclusion was dismissed.[71][72] But the contract award was disputed and a stop-work was issued the following January.[73] All motions will be due to U.S. Court of Federal Claim by 6 March 2012.[74]

For this procurement the avionics are to be supplied by Elbit Systems of America. Sierra Nevada, the US-based prime contractor will be building the Super Tucano in Jacksonville, Florida.[75] As of February 27, 2013 The Embraer website states "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." Embraer also stated: "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."

Potential operators[edit]

The A-29 Super Tucano will likely equip the Afghan Air Force in the light attack and advanced training role. The aircraft was declared the winner of the US Light Air Support (LAS) contract competition over the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6B Texan II.[76] However the contract was canceled citing concerns with the procurement process.[77] And rewon in 2013.[78] Under the contract the Afghan military will receive 20 A-29s with the first batch being delivered in 2015.[79] The Pentagon has also proposed to provide to Lebanon a contract for 10 EMB-314.[80]

In March 2011, a Brazilian Federal representative discoursed about the Unasur treaty, stating that it could promote the surveillance integration in the Amazon Basin and facilitate the sale of 12 Super Tucanos and upgrade kits for 20 Peruvian EMB-312 "Tucano".[81] The defence minister of Peru has announced they have suspended the acquisition of Super Tucano in favor of Korean KT-1.[82] In 14 February 2012, Brazilian Ministry of Defence said Peru is considering buying ten Super Tucano.[83] However, in November 2012, a governament-to-governament contract was sign for 20 KT-1.[84] The governments of Peru and Brazil reactivated negotiations for the acquisition of 12 A-29 Super Tucano in order to replace A-37 Dragonfly that are due to withdraw in 2017.[85]

Equatorial Guinea was said to be interested in purchase EMB 314 Super Tucano.[86] The Libyan government is interested in buying up to 24 Super Tucanos.[87]

On 3 September 2011, the head of the Honduran Air Force said that Honduras will procure four Super Tucanos.[88] On 7 February 2012, ministers of Honduras government informed the Brazilian Trade Ministry the interest in acquire a lot of Super Tucanos.[89] However, due the economic situation, the government was forced to repair the aging aircraft inventory, instead of buying eight EMB-314.[90]

On October 2009, the President of Paraguay was leaning toward buying Super Tucanos.[91] According to Paraguayan newspaper La Nación, the commander of the FAP (Paraguayan Air Forces) has started to procure six EMB-314 aircraft.[92] In May 2012, the Paraguayan Air Force selected the Super Tucano to reinforce the air force capabilities.[93] However, after the Impeachment of Fernando Lugo all negotiations were temporarily suspended.[94] Suriname is interested in purchasing between two and four Super Tucano for light attack roles.[95]

Philippines is considering the acquisition of six Super Tucano aircraft to replace the aging Philippine Air Force OV-10 Bronco.[96] In June 2012, Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said to be looking for a "government-to-government" procurement deal with Brazil to acquire the Super Tucanos.[97] On 20 June 2012, the Department of National Defense reported that a total of six Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano will be acquired for PhP4.968 billion.[98] Embraer has also quoted Thailand as a potential customers for the type.[99]

Sweden has proposed to replace its Saab 105 Trainer aircraft for Super Tucanos, if Brazil chooses to buy Gripen NG.[100] Elbit Systems and Embraer are offering EMB-314 for the United Kingdom's basic trainer contest.[101]

In November 2013, Nigeria has shown interest in acquiring Super Tucanos. [102]

Missed contracts[edit]

After the USA ban on Czech aircraft Aero L-159 Alca export on 7 August 2009, the Bolivian Defense Minister said they were considering six aircraft from Brazil or China with comparable role as the Aero L-159.[103] On 9 October 2009, it was announced that Pakistan would be manufacturing six Chinese K-8 for Bolivia, and to be used for anti-drug operations at the price of $9.7 million per aircraft.[104]

On February 2006, a 36 unit sale for Venezuela fell through because it was thought the USA would block the transfer of US-built components.[105] Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez claimed the U.S. was responsible for pressuring Brazil not to sign the contract.[106]

On November 2010 the President of the Legislative Defense Committee of El Salvador stated they will purchase estimated 10 EMB-314s.[107] It was postponed in February 2011 by lack of funds.[108] In 2013, the El Salvador Air Force acquired 10 Cessna A-37 retired from Chilean Air Force.[109]

In August 2011 the Guatemalan Air Force requested credit approval of $166 millions to buy six EMB-314, control centers, radar and equipment, in the context of a programme named "C4I".[110] In September 2012, the president of Guatemala stated that Super Tucanos will arrive within a year and half.[111] In the following month, the Guatemalan Congress approved a loan for the C4I programme, including the purchase of six Embraer A-29 Super Tucano, to be granted by Brazilian and Spanish banks (BNDES and BBVA).[112] The deal was finalized in April 2013.[113] The first two aircraft were expected to arrive in April 2014, followed by 2 units in 2015 and 2 more in 2016.[114] However, the president of Guatemala canceled the order in November 2013.[115]

On September 2010, it was announced that Brazil and United Arab Emirates were working in a deal which includes sales of Super Tucanos.[116]

Variants[edit]

A-29A 
Single-seater for attack and armed reconnaissance (on interdiction tasks), attack and cover (on close air support tasks), able to intercept and destroy low performance aircraft. Incorporates an additional fuel tank (+ 400 liters).
A-29B 
Twin-seater for the same tasks as the single seat version, also used in training and advanced aerial control (on monitoring tasks).

Operators[edit]

Embraer A-29 Super Tucano operators
ALX destroys illicit airstrip in Amazon rainforest
 Afghanistan
  • Afghan Air Force - 20 aircraft ordered. First aircraft to be delivered in April 2015, and the last in 2019.[117]
 Angola
 Brazil
  • Brazilian Air Force – 99 aircraft[121] (33 A-29A & 66 A-29B).[19] At least 4 aircraft lost.[122][123][124][125]
    • First Squadron of the Third Aviation Group (1º/3º GAv) "Esquadrão Escorpião"
    • Second Squadron of the Third Aviation Group (2º/3º GAv) "Esquadrão Grifo"
    • Third Squadron of the Third Aviation Group (3º/3º GAv) "Esquadrão Flecha"
    • Second Squadron of the Fifth Aviation Group (2º/5º GAv) "Esquadrão Joker"
    • Smoke Squadron (EDA)
 Burkina Faso
 Chile
 Colombia
  • Colombian Air Force – 25 aircraft, introduced between 2006 and 2008.[128]
    • 211 Combat Squadron "Grifos" of the Twenty-first Combat Group
    • 312 Combat Squadron "Drakos" of the Therty-first Combat Group
    • 611 Combat Squadron of the Sixty-first Combat Group
 Dominican Republic
 Ecuador
 Honduras
 Indonesia
  • Indonesian Air Force - four aircraft as of August 2012.[133] 16 were ordered in 2011[134] with deliveries to take place in 2012 and 2014.[135] In March 2012, Indonesian Ministry of Defense informed the possibility of a future joint production, further modernization and sales in the Asia-Pacific region.[136]
    • Air Squadron 21 "Lanud Abdul Rachman Saleh"
 Mauritania
Mauritania Air Force A-29B Super Tucano at Paris Air Show 2013.
  • Mauritanian Air Force – received two aircraft as of December 2012, one more aircraft on order.[137] On July 2011, it was mentioned that it was considering the acquisition of Super Tucano aircraft.[138] Negotiations for the acquisitions of Super Tucanos started in December 2011.[139] On 28 March 2012 at Chile's FIDAE defense and air show, Embraer announced sales of undisclosed numbers of aircraft to Mauritania.[140] On 19 October 2012, Embraer deliveried the first EMB-314, fitted with a FLIR Safire III infrared turret for border surveillance operations.[141]
 Senegal
  • Senegalese Air Force – Three aircraft on order.[142] In September 2012 it was informed that the country was in aprocurement process for acquisition of the type.[143] In April 2013, the Brazilian minister of Defence disclosed that Senegal is the 4th African nation to order the Super Tucano,[144] in the following day Embraer confirmed the order.[142]
 United States

Specifications (EMB 314 Super Tucano)[edit]

Three View
Each wing can be loaded with 200 rounds for the FN Herstal M3P 12,7 mm (.50 in) machine gun which has a firing rate of up to 950 rounds per minute.
Super Tucano is certified with over 130 weapon configurations.

Data from Type Analysis: Embraer Super Tucano (All specifications from Janes 2010-2011 unless otherwise indicated[150])

General characteristics

  • Crew: Pilot plus one navigator/student in tandem on Martin Baker Mk 10 LCX zero-zero ejection seats
  • Payload: 1,500 kg (3,307 lb)
  • Length: 11.38 m (37 ft 4 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.14 m (36 ft 6.5 in)
  • Height: 3.97 m (13 ft 0.25 in)
  • Wing area: 19.4 m² (208.8 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 3,200 kg (7,055 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 5,400 kg (11,905 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 Hartzell 5-blade constant speed, fully feathering, reversible-pitch × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68C turboprop, 1,196 kW (1,600 shp) each

Performance

Armament

Avionics

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Embraer espera vender até 40 Super Tucanos em 8 meses (in Portuguese), BR: Terra, retrieved 19 December 2011 .
  2. ^ Super Tucanos han volado 248 horas en cinco meses tienen RD, Diario Libre (in Spanish), 30 April 2010, retrieved 20 December 2011 .
  3. ^ a b Embraer está perto de fechar contrato com a Defesa dos EUA, O Estado de São Paulo (in Portuguese), 23 November 2011, retrieved 26 December 2011 .
  4. ^ A29 Super Tucano wins air force, Herald (online ed.), 2013-02-27 
  5. ^ Embraer 40 anos: Defendendo a Amazônia (in Portuguese), Contato Radar, retrieved 5 February 2012 .
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External links[edit]