The National Air Force of Angola’s training capability has received a major boost with the acceptance of the first three of six Super Tucanos on order, and the delivery of six Cessna 172R trainers.
The first three Super Tucanos were accepted during a formal ceremony held in the capital Luanda on July 12. Chief of General Staff General Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda officiated at the event, which was also attended by generals, officers and soldiers.
Nunda said the Super Tucanos would be used for training fighter pilots and for the attack role. He praised the type’s ability to operate in all weathers from short, unprepared runways. The chief of staff said the armed forces would allocate the necessary funding so the aircraft are maintained correctly, allowing them to fully serve the pilots who will fly them.
Embraer delivered the first three aircraft to Angola during a ceremony at its Gaviao Peixoto facility in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on January 31. Luiz Carlos Aguiar, President of Embraer Defence and Security at the time said that the selection of the Super Tucano by the Angolan air force demonstrated the great potential of the Super Tucano in Africa. “It is a robust, versatile and very efficient combat-proven aircraft with low operating costs and has generated great interest among other African nations.”
In Africa, the Super Tucano has also been ordered by Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal.
Angola operates the earlier EMB-312 Tucano, buying six new-production Tucanos plus two Embraer company demonstrators, which were delivered in 1999, followed by six more, delivered in 2004.
Nunda said that after receiving the Cessna 172R trainers at the beginning of this year, the arrival of the Super Tucanos marks the ambitious re-equipping of the Angolan air force and the overall rebuilding of the armed forces, as directed by President and Commander-in-Chief Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
The six Cessna 172Rs were acquired through a contract signed with American company Africair in 2010. Defence Minister Candido van-Dunem handed over the six aircraft to Lobito’s Military Aeronautical School on April 20 this year. As part of the Cessna 172 acquisition, the Angolan Air Force also received a Cessna 172 TDI Level 5 Flight Training Device (FTD), provided by fixed wing and helicopter simulator manufacturer Frasca.