Ghana is currently upgrading its military capacity. The Air Force can expect a fair number of new aircraft soon, according to John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana and the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
Mr. Dramani Mahami made his statements while visiting Burma Camp in Accra earlier in February 2015. The equipping drive which commenced in 2009 under the Late President John Mills will see GAF receive a set of new aircrafts – including four new Harbin Z-9 helicopters and five new Embraer A-29 Super Tucano training and light attack aircraft, a statement reads.
“We must prepare and train for any eventuality – hostage situations, bombings, and attacks on shopping malls among others,” the Ghana president said. He sees the new aircraft as a “progressive effort to upgrade the GAF into a vibrant force in the sub region”.
Until the arrival of the Super Tucanos the Ghana Air Force’s only fixed-wing attack aircraft are four Hongdu K-8 Karakorums.
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.
A soccer game usually lasts only 90 minutes, but for the Força Aérea Brasileira, it will be game on until well after the final world cup match on 13 July. All air traffic around the soccer stadiums will be monitored and controlled from a Master Command and Control Room in Rio de Janeiro, and F-5EM Tiger and A-29 Super Tucano aircraft will be used to intercept any unknowns. Also, Embraer E-99 surveillance aircraft are watching and UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters will be on standby.
The areas around the stadiums are temporary no-fly zones and designated Terminal Control Areas (TMA). The most closely guarded airspace is a red sector with a 4 miles radius around each stadium, followed by a yellow zone with a 7 miles radius. All unidentified aircraft within those sectors will be intercepted, says the Brazilian Air Force. On intercept by either F-5EMs or A29s, rocking the wings will the universal signal to tresspassing pilots to follow the Força Aérea Brasileira aircraft out of the no fly zone.
Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will also be used during the world cup. The control center in Rio de Janeiro is also responsible for handling commercial and business flights to all host cities for the world cup.
If your Portuguese is up to standard, this YouTube video explains more.
The US Air Force will get the first of the 20 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light air support aircraft (LAS) as planned in mid-2014, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer confirmed this week. The first 40 personnel have already been recruited in the local Jacksonville community, Florida, where Embraer will complete the aircraft.
Embraer already has a plant in the southern American state, after it opened a US production facility in Melbourne (Florida) in 2011 for the production of the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 executive jets. Embraer currently employs over 1,300 people across the United States. More than 100 U.S. companies will supply parts and services for the A-29 Super Tucano. Some 1,400 U.S. jobs will be supported by the LAS contract.
On February 27, 2013 the U.S. Air Force awarded the LAS contract to Sierra Nevada Corporation to supply 20 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, as well as ground-based training devices, pilot and maintenance training, and logistical support. The Sierra Nevada Corporation and Embraer work together on the project. The USAF will move the A-29s to the Afghan Air Force, where they will form the backbone of the air support to ground units and will replace attack helicopters in that role.
The A-29 Super Tucano is a robust, relatively powerful turboprop aircraft developed from the Shorts/Embraer Tucano training aircraft. Its mission can include close air support (CAS) and intelligence, surveillance, counter-insurgency (COIN) 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 a relative high munitions capacity compared to similar aircraft.
Many experts feel the Super Tucano is the best affordable CAS/COIN aircraft at the moment, providing a robust light attack platform for US$ 1,000 to US$ 3,000 per flying hour, in stead of US$ 18,000 or more for today’s standard fighter and attack aircraft.
The A-29 has a higher survivability capability than f. ex. the militarised Cessnas and similar types that are commonly used around the world for cheap aerial forward air control and lighter air tasking missions. According to many, including US Air Force senior specialists, the Super Tucano outclasses competitor Beechcraft AT-6.