Embraer’s EMB-314 Super Tucano trainer and light attack turboprop continues to rack up global orders, solidifying its position as the globe’s pre-eminent manned counter-insurgency aircraft. The latest order set of about $180 million expands the plane’s footprint into 3 African states: Angola, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania. They join Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Indonesia as customers for this aircraft.
The Super Tucano is known as the A-29 or ALX in Brazil, but abroad, it’s the EMB 314 successor to Embraer’s widely-used EMB 312 Tucano trainer. A-29 is better for marketing, though, and Embraer is trying to shift the designation. The Super Tucano offers better flight performance than the EMB 312 Tucano, plus armoring and wing-mounted machine guns, weapons integration with advanced surveillance and targeting pods, precision-guided bombs, and even air-to-air missiles. This makes it an excellent territorial defense and close support plane for low-budget air forces, as well as a surveillance asset with armed attack capability. Brazil uses it this way, for instance, alongside very advanced EMB-145 airborne radar and maritime patrol jet platforms. Meanwhile, in Africa…
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