This week Embraer celebrated the delivery of Super Tucano aircraft to two nations, Chile and the Philippines. The advanced training and light attack aircraft is the most successful military project since its foundation, with around 900 aircraft produced, between the EMB-312 and EMB-314 versions.
The Chilean Air Force received two planes as part of a third batch of orders for four units closed this year. FACH has operated the turboprop aircraft since 2009 when the first 12 A-29s were delivered. In 2017, six more aircraft were ordered, making the country one of the largest operators of the model.
The Philippine Air Force, meanwhile, struck a deal for six Super Tucano in 2017 and has received them all in recent weeks. One of Embraer’s next customers will be Nigeria, whose first plane is already ready in the US, at the facilities of Sierra Nevada, a partner of the Brazilian company.
Successful international carrier
Sierra Nevada, in fact, has been important in negotiations with the US government. Through the country’s support for combating terrorism, countries such as Afghanistan and Lebanon started to receive the A-29, as will also be the case in Nigeria.
The training aircraft completed 40 years since its inaugural flight in August. Developed under the order of the Brazilian Air Force for the function of advanced training, the T-27 Tucano ended up having a successful international career, being commissioned by the Royal Air Force and Armée de L’Air.
In 1999, Embraer performed the first flight of the Super Tucano, a larger and more capable variant of the turboprop aircraft and which is also used in light attack missions. To date, nearly 300 aircraft of this model have been produced by Embraer.
Two potential customers are Ukraine, which recently expressed interest in the plane, and the US Air Force, under the OA-X program, which consists of an order for about 300 aircraft. The Super Tucano is a finalist in the program along with its rival, the AT-6 Wolverine, but the Pentagon has put the program on hold for now.