The Portuguese Air Force (FAP) may announce an agreement to purchase 10 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft soon. The negotiations with Embraer, which have already sparked rumors before, would have been confirmed by a source on the Spanish website Infodefesa.
The good relationship between the Portuguese government and Embraer reinforces the expectation of the deal being concluded. The European country was the first European customer of the C-390 Millennium military transport aircraft, from which it acquired five units.
In addition, the Brazilian manufacturer is the majority partner of OGMA, a company that performs maintenance and also produces components for several aircraft, including the C-390.
If confirmed, it will be the first sale of the Super Tucano to a NATO member country, the European military alliance. While its predecessor, the EMB-312 Tucano, was operated by the Royal Air Force and Armée de l’Air, the A-29 has found customers in other regions of the world.
The Portuguese Air Force has a very small fleet of planes, which mainly includes 27 F-16A/B fighters, 12 C295 for transport and special missions and five P-3C maritime patrols, in addition to about 20 helicopters, among others aircraft.
The FAP had 50 Alpha Jet aircraft received from the German Air Force in 1993 as part of the payment for the use of the Beja Air Base. Franco-German planes replaced the T-38s then used and remained in service for 25 years.