The A-29 Super Tucano for the USAF/Afghan Air Force (Image © Embraer)

First US made A-29 Super Tucano for Afghan use

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Embraer Defense & Security on Thursday 25 September 2014 presented the first US-built A-29 Super Tucano light air support aircraft in a roll-out ceremony with the US Air Force and government officials. The aircraft is the first of 20 that are being delivered to the USAF for its Light Air Support (LAS) program to support stability in Afghanistan. On Friday 26 September, it was flown to Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, where training will be done.

In February 2013, the US Air Force awarded the LAS contract to SNC to supply 20 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft as well as ground training devices, pilot and maintenance training and logistic support. The aircraft will be used to provide light air support, reconnaissance and training capabilities to the Afghanistan military. In March 2013, Embraer opened a facility in Jacksonville, Florida, to produce the LAS aircraft and to date has hired 72 employees. The facility in Jacksonville performs pre-equipping, mechanical assembly, structural assembly, systems installation and testing, and flight testing of A-29 aircraft.

The Super Tucano is a light air support turboprop aircraft with advanced training capabilities currently used by nine air forces in Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. After more than ten years in action, the Super Tucano has gained an excellent performance record: over 230,000 flight hours and 31,000 combat hours. Embraer has received more than 210 firm orders and has delivered more than 170 aircraft.

Source: Embraer

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The A-29 Super Tucano for the USAF/Afghan Air Force (Image © Embraer)
The A-29 Super Tucano for the USAF/Afghan Air Force (Image © Embraer)