Ukraine admits it can replace L-39 training jets with Super Tucano turboprop

Air Force released a note in which it complained of rumors on social networks for disclosing that the Brazilian plane would take the place of the Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters
Ukraine studies purchase of Brazilian turboprop Super Tucano (Airwolfhound/CC)

Ukraine’s interest in Embraer’s Super Tucano training turboprop was recently admitted by the country. In a note posted on the internet, the air force complained about part of the press for pointing out that the Brazilian plane would be the successor of the MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters.

“We are talking about the replacement of Su-27, Su-24M, Su-25, Su-24MR aircraft, which are in service with the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a multi-role fighter of generation 4 ++ foreign production, but it is not Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano”, said the Air Force.

However, in the same text Ukraine has admitted that the advanced training turboprop has been under review since 2019 as a replacement for the L-39 Albatros jets. “The Super Tucano aircraft was considered during the working trip of the delegation of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to Brazil in 2019, as a training and combat aircraft that can replace the L-39 aircraft,” the statement said.

Ukrainian air force talks with Embraer have been going on for quite some time. As the note stated, a delegation from the country visited Brazil in 2019 and the manufacturer’s facilities. Still at the end of last year, at a meeting in Japan, the Brazilian delegation would have offered the C-390 Millennium multimission freighter, despite Ukraine’s production of the An-178, which is similar in size.

The L-39 Albatros jet (Oleg V. Belyakov)

New suppliers

After relations with former partner Russia deteriorated, kraine not only saw manufacturer Antonov go into crisis, but now faces the need to re-equip its armed forces with Western equipment.

Currently, the air force operates only Russian planes and helicopters, with the exception of the An-24/26, An-30 and An-70 models, supplied by Antonov. There are about 50 MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters and 25 Su-24 and Su-25 attack planes that will need to be replaced in the near future.

The pilot training detachment had 47 L-39 planes manufactured in the Czech Republic and which are obsolete and expensive to operate. Although there are proposals to modernize the fleet, the adoption of a modern turboprop like the Super Tucano would be more affordable.

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