Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano

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EMB 314 / A-29 Super Tucano
Aeronaves Ágata 7 (8780131013).jpg
A-29 Super Tucano Brazilian Air Force
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 +190
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 Brazil, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Angola, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and the United States Air Force, and has been ordered by Senegal, Honduras, Lebanon, Mali and Ghana.

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.[4] The study was stimulated by the unsuccessful bid for the US military 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.[5]

This EMB-312H Prototype first flew in 9 September 1991, currently is on display at the Memorial Aeroespacial Brasileiro in São José dos Campos.

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 then in service and be used to intercept illegal aircraft flights and patrol 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 new aircraft was to be 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.[6]

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".[5] The total cost of the aircraft development was quoted to be between US$200 million and US$300 million.[7]

The aircraft differs from the baseline EMB-312 Tucano trainer aircraft in several respects. It is powered by a more powerful 1,200 kW (1,600 shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68C engine (compared to the EMB-312's 560 kW (750 shp) powerplant); has a strengthened airframe to sustain higher g loads and increase fatigue life to 18,000–12,000 hours in operational environments; a reinforced landing gear to handle greater takeoff weights and heavier stores load, 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 various 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 structure is corrosion-protected and the side-hinged canopy has a windshield able to withstand bird strike impacts up to 500 km/h (270 kn).[10]

The A-29A incorporates an additional tank for 400 liters of fuel.

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]

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 continued for another year to complete the engine fatigue life test and crack propagation studies for a damage tolerance analysis program of 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 integrate Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and Small Diameter Bombs (SDB) for the Super Tucano.[16] In 2013, Embraer Defense and Security CEO disclosed that its subsidiary, OrbiSat, was developing a new radar for the Super Tucano.[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]


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 U$214.1 million, 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 a 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]

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&Cs 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]


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]


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 US$234 million 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 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 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]

Anti-FARC operations[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]

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]

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

Colombian Super Tucano deploys flares

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]

At dawn of 22 February 2012, EMB-314s identified the camp of FARC's 57th Front, 15 kilometers north of Bojayá near the border with Panama. In Operation Frontera, Super Tucanos 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 strategy that aims to dismantle FARC´s structure, both militarily and financially. It targets FARC leadership and is focused on eliminating the 15 most powerful economic and military fronts.[41]

During at Operacion Faraón, at the dawn of 21 March 2012, five Super Tucanos bombarded the FARC´s 10th Front guerrilla camp in Arauca, near the Venezuelan border, killing 33 rebels.[42][43] Five days later, on Operation Armagedón, nine Super Tucanos from Apiay Air Base attacked the FARC´s 27th front camp in Vista Hermosa, Meta, using coordinates received from a guerrilla informant recruited by the police intelligence, launching 40 guided 500 pounds bombs within three minutes, totally destroying the camp and killing 36 rebels.[44] In late May, Super Tucanos bombarded a National Liberation Army (ELN) camp located in rural 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 Chocó Department killed seven rebels.[46] On 6 June 2012, during a minute and half bombardment over FARC's 37th front located in northern Antioquia Department, five Super Tucanos dropped 250 kg bombs, killing 8 rebels.[47] On September, Super Tucanos provided reconnaissance and close air support during an "OMEGA" operation, during which 7 terrorists were gunned down and 4 captured, including "Fredy Cooper", the 7th front's leader of the Public Order Company.[48] On 5 September 2012, "Danilo Garcia", leader of the FARC's 33rd Front was killed in a bombing raid; Danilo was considered "the right hand of supreme FARC leader alias Timochenko". Intelligence indicates that the bodies of 15 guerrillas may have been buried in the bombing.[49] Eight A-29s carried out an air strike on 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, and 13 others.[50][51] In April 2013, two Super Tucanos bombarded the FARC's 59th front fort in Serranía del Perijá municipality Barrancas, La Guajira.[52]

Dominican Republic[edit]

A Dominican Republic A-29 pilot taxis after a mission as part of an exercise to combat illegal drug trafficking.

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.[53] 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.[54]

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."[55] 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.[56] 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.[57]


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).[58] Ecuadorian Super Tucanos uses the PT-6A-68A (1,300 shp) engine.[59]

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.[60]

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.[61]


In late January 2010, Indonesian Air Force commander Air Marshal Imam Sufaat made it clear that Indonesia had split the competition, designating the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano turboprop from Brazil as the preferred replacement for their OV-10s. Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Embraer at the Indo Defense 2010 exhibition in Jakarta. Indonesia ordered 8 EMB-314 Super Tucanos at first, with an option for another 8 on the same terms. The first Super Tucanos were scheduled to arrive in 2012, and the order also included ground-support stations and a logistics package. Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro added that state aircraft maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia would be used for maintenance work, and they also hoped Dirgantara would wind up manufacturing some parts and components. Subsequent contracts have ordered a total of 16 of these Super Tucano planes for the Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU), Indonesian Air Force.

While Indonesia could have made a unified choice to replace its OV-10 Bronco FAC light attack and Bae Hawk Mk.53 trainer fleets with a multi-role jet, the demands of forward air control and counterinsurgency wars give slower and more stable platforms an advantage. The USA’s A-10 Thunderbolt/Warthog is Exhibit A in this respect, but it’s no longer in production. Propeller-driven options are emerging as the preferred choices and Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano external link trainer/ FAC/ light attack turboprop has built a strong global lead.

On 10 July 2012 Indonesia ordered a 2nd set of 8 Super Tucano aircraft, along with a full flight simulator. This brings their order total to 16.

In August 2012, Indonesia received the first 4 airplanes from the initial batch of 8 aircraft ordered in November 2010. Embraer Defense delivered Indonesia's first 4 Super Tucanos at a ceremony held in its facility in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo, Brazil.[62] Deliveries of the 2nd batch of Super Tucanos were delayed from their original schedule for more than seven months.[63] Ultimately in September 2014 the second batch left the factory in Brazil on their ferry flight to Malang Abdul Rachman Saleh Air Base in East Java. They will be based at the Malang air base on Indonesia's Java island. They are operated by Skadron Udara 21 as part of the 2nd Wing.

United States[edit]

One Super Tucano was purchased by a subsidiary of Blackwater Worldwide, an American private military contracting firm.[64][65] The aircraft lacked the machine guns normally attached to the wings. In 2012, that aircraft was subsequently purchased by Tactical Air Support, Inc. of Reno, Nevada.[66][67]

USA Super Tucano flying over Moody Air Force Base as part of training program for the Afghan pilots.

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,[68] giving it the official U.S. designation A-29B.[69]

In 2009, the Super Tucano was offered in a U.S. Air Force competition for 100 counterinsurgency aircraft.[70] On 12 April 2010, Brazil signed a defensive pact that opened negotiations for the acquisition of 200 Super Tucanos by the U.S.[71] On 16 November 2011, the AT-6 was excluded from the LAS Program, effectively selecting the Super Tucano. According to GAO: "the Air Force concluded that HBDC had not adequately corrected deficiencies in its proposal... 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.[72][73] However, the contract award was disputed and a stop-work was issued in January 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] The 81st Fighter Squadron, based at Moody AFB was reactivated on 15 January 2015 and will receive the aircraft and provide training to pilots and maintainers from the Afghan Air Force.[76] Purchased for the Afghan Air Force, they are planned to be turned over to them in December 2015.[77] Until the A-29s are turned over to the Afghan Air Force, they will not have a fixed-wing close air support aircraft, but have armed helicopter options.[78]


On 3 September 2011, the head of the Honduran Air Force said that Honduras was to procure four Super Tucanos.[79] On 7 February 2012, ministers of the Honduran government informed the Brazilian Trade Ministry of the interest in acquiring a large number of Super Tucanos.[80] However, due to the economic situation, the government was forced to repair their aging aircraft inventory, instead of proceeding with purchasing eight EMB-314 aircraft.[81]

On 17 October 2014 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores y Cooperación Internacional) announced the go-ahead of acquiring two new Embraer A-29 Super Tucanos by the Fuerza Aerea Hondurena (Honduran Air Force) following approval from the country's National Council for Security and Defence. Honduras had been looking to buy new Super Tucanos for several years, but until now had been unable to finance a purchase. As part of the deal six of the FAH's surviving Embraer EMB-312A Tucanos, acquired in 1984, will be refurbished and upgraded by the manufacturer. Originally operated only by the Academia Militar de Aviacion at Palmerola for training they have recently been armed for counter-narcotics missions. Just three were airworthy as the Brazilian deal was signed for the aircraft to be upgraded and the other three be made airworthy again. Together with the two newly acquired Super Tucanos this will boost efforts to maintain security within the country.[82][83]

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.[84] However the contract was canceled citing concerns with the procurement process.[85] And rewon in 2013.[86] Under the contract the Afghan military will receive 20 A-29s with the first batch being delivered in 2015.[87]

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea was said to be interested in purchase EMB 314 Super Tucano.[88]


The Libyan government is interested in buying up to 24 Super Tucanos.[89]


In November 2013, Nigeria has shown interest in acquiring Super Tucanos.[90]


Brazil has donated three EMB-312 for Mozambique Air Force, which may also acquire three Super Tucano.[91]


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".[92] In September 2012, the president of Guatemala stated that Super Tucanos will arrive within a year and half.[93] 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).[94] The deal was finalized in April 2013.[95] The first two aircraft were expected to arrive in April 2014, followed by 2 units in 2015 and 2 more in 2016.[96] However, the president of Guatemala canceled the order in November 2013.[97] However, in January 2015 the Guatemalan defence minister disclosed that his country was looking at purchasing two aircraft from Embraer.[98]


The Pentagon has also proposed to provide to Lebanon a contract for 10 EMB-314.[99] Six Tucanos with 2,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems are going to Lebanon in 2015 via the US LAS program, but financed by Saudi Arabia at US$462 million.[100]


On October 2009, the President of Paraguay was leaning toward buying Super Tucanos.[101] According to Paraguayan newspaper La Nación, the commander of the FAP (Paraguayan Air Forces) has started to procure six EMB-314 aircraft.[102] In May 2012, the Paraguayan Air Force selected the Super Tucano to reinforce the air force capabilities.[103] However, after the Impeachment of Fernando Lugo all negotiations were temporarily suspended.[104]


Suriname is interested in purchasing between two and four Super Tucano for light attack roles.[105]


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".[106] The defence minister of Peru has announced they have suspended the acquisition of Super Tucano in favor of Korean KT-1.[107] In 14 February 2012, Brazilian Ministry of Defence said Peru is considering buying ten Super Tucano.[108] However, in November 2012, a government-to-government contract was sign for 20 KT-1.[109] 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.[110]


Philippines is considering the acquisition of six Super Tucano aircraft to replace the aging Philippine Air Force OV-10 Bronco.[111] 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.[112] 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.[113]


Embraer has also quoted Thailand as a potential customers for the type.[114]


Sweden has proposed to replace its Saab 105 Trainer aircraft for Super Tucanos, if Brazil chooses to buy Gripen NG.[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] It was reported in early 2015 that UAE is negotiating with Embraer the purchase of 24 Super Tucanos, the deal would include 6 aircraft from Brazilian Air Force inventory for immediately delivery.[117]

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.[118] 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.[119]

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.[120] Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez claimed the U.S. was responsible for pressuring Brazil not to sign the contract.[121]

On November 2010 the President of the Legislative Defense Committee of El Salvador stated they will purchase estimated 10 EMB-314s.[122] It was postponed in February 2011 by lack of funds.[123] In 2013, the El Salvador Air Force acquired 10 Cessna A-37 retired from Chilean Air Force.[124]

Elbit Systems and Embraer offered EMB-314 for the United Kingdom's basic trainer contest.[125] However, the Beechcraft T-6C Texan II formed part of the preferred bid for the requirement in October 2014.[126]


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).
Twin-seater for the same tasks as the single seat version, also used in training and advanced aerial control (on monitoring tasks).


Embraer A-29 Super Tucano operators
  • Afghan Air Force - 20 aircraft ordered. First aircraft to be delivered in 2015, and the last in 2019.[127] The first A-29 Super Tucano of the Pentagon's Light Air Support (LAS) program, destined for the Afghan Air Force, has been delivered to the US Air Force in Jacksonville, Florida by the Sierra Nevada Corporation and Embraer in September 2014.[128][129] The first eight Afghan airmen are trained in the USA to form a new Afghan fighter squadron.[130]
  • Brazilian Air Force – 99 aircraft[134] (33 A-29A & 66 A-29B).[19] At least 4 aircraft lost.[135][136][137][138]
    • First Squadron of the Third Aviation Group (1º/3º GAv) "Esquadrão Escorpião" (Scorpion Squadron)
    • Second Squadron of the Third Aviation Group (2º/3º GAv) "Esquadrão Grifo" (Griffon Squadron)
    • Third Squadron of the Third Aviation Group (3º/3º GAv) "Esquadrão Flecha" (Arrow Squadron)
    • Second Squadron of the Fifth Aviation Group (2º/5º GAv) "Esquadrão Joker" (Joker Squadron)
    • Smoke Squadron (EDA)
 Burkina Faso

At least one aircraft crashed, claimed shot down by FARC.[142][143]

    • 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
  • Ghana Air Force - 5 aircraft ordered in 2015.[147] The total value of the contract was $88million with loan from BNDS, which also includes logistics support and a training system for pilots and mechanics in Ghana. The first aircraft is expected to arrive on the second half of 2016, and it will be used as advanced training, border surveillance and internal security missions.[148]
  • Indonesian Air Force - 8 aircraft, the first four aircraft were delivered as of August 2012.,[150] the delivery of the second batch of four aircraft was delayed till September 2014.[63] A total of 16 were ordered in 2011[151] with deliveries to take place in 2012, 2014 and 2015.[152] In March 2012, Indonesian Ministry of Defense informed the possibility of a future joint production, further modernization and sales in the Asia-Pacific region.[153]
    • Air Squadron 21 "Lanud Abdul Rachman Saleh"
  • Mali Air Force - 6 A-29 on order.[155] Defence Minister of Mali expressed interest in acquiring six aircraft Super Tucano Brazilian during his meeting with Brazilian Defence Minister in Brasilia, followed by a visit to Embraer`s assembly plant.[156]
  • Mozambique Air Force - 3 A-29 Super Tucano advanced trainer and light attack aircraft financed with a mid-term to long-term loan by Brazil, besides a donation of three ex-Brazilian Air Force Embraer EMB-312 Tucano trainer aircraft to Mozambique.[157] [158]
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.[159] On July 2011, it was mentioned that it was considering the acquisition of Super Tucano aircraft.[160] Negotiations for the acquisitions of Super Tucanos started in December 2011.[161] On 28 March 2012 at Chile's FIDAE defense and air show, Embraer announced sales of undisclosed numbers of aircraft to Mauritania.[162] On 19 October 2012, Embraer deliveried the first EMB-314, fitted with a FLIR Safire III infrared turret for border surveillance operations.[163]
  • Senegalese Air Force – Three aircraft on order.[164] In September 2012 it was informed that the country was in aprocurement process for acquisition of the type.[165] In April 2013, the Brazilian minister of Defence disclosed that Senegal is the 4th African nation to order the Super Tucano,[166] in the following day Embraer confirmed the order.[164]
 United States
  • The first A-29 Super Tucano of the Pentagon's Light Air Support (LAS) program, destined for the Afghan Air Force, has been delivered to the US Air Force in Jacksonville, Florida by the Sierra Nevada Corporation and Embraer in September 2014.[128] The LAS contract was developed by the Pentagon to supply Afghanistan’s military with 20 planes, which should ensure air superiority in the country after the majority of US forces leave. Because the contract is a foreign military sale, Nevada-based SNC and Brazil-based Embraer deliver the planes to the Air Force, which then passes them on to the Afghan military.[129] The first of 20 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft arrived at Moody Air Force Base on September 26, 2014 in preparation for the Afghanistan pilot and maintenance training mission.[172]

Specifications (EMB 314 Super Tucano)[edit]

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.
Pilots from the 81st Fighter Squadron drop a 500 pound inert training bomb from an A-29 Super Tucano on the range near Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

Data from Type Analysis: Embraer Super Tucano (All specifications from Janes 2010-2011 unless otherwise indicated[173])

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




See also[edit]

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


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