Angola receives first Super Tucanos


Embraer on Thursday delivered the first three Super Tucano light attack and trainer aircraft to the Angolan air force during a ceremony in Brazil. Angola has six aircraft on order.

The aircraft were handed over to the National Air Force of Angola at Embraer’s Gavião Peixoto facility in São Paulo. Angola becomes the third A-29 Super Tucano operator in Africa after Burkina Faso and Mauritania.
“The selection of the Super Tucano by the National Air Force of Angola demonstrates the great potential of this aircraft in Africa,” said Luiz Carlos Aguiar, President of Embraer Defence and Security. “It is a robust, versatile and very efficient combat-proven aircraft with low operating costs and has generated great interest among other African nations.”

Angola will use its Super Tucanos for border surveillance missions. Angola bought six new-production Tucanos plus two Embraer company demonstrators, which were delivered in 1999, followed by six more, delivered in 2004.

Embraer’s Super Tucano deals in Africa amount to a combined US$180 million. Burkina Faso was the first African country to take delivery, receiving three aircraft in September 2011 for border patrol missions.

In October last year Mauritania received their first aircraft, featuring sensor turrets for surveillance duties, although they will also be used for counter-insurgency missions. It is not clear how many Super Tucanos Mauritania has on order.

In 2010 France began supplying Mauritania with four ex-French EMB-312F Tucanos, but one crashed and was written off in 2011. Between 1993 and 2009 the French Air Force operated 50 Tucanos, which succeeded the Fouga Magister in the training role. The fleet was retired in 2009 as a cost-saving measure.

With the recent orders, ten countries have now chosen the A-29 Super Tucano in Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia, and the aircraft is already operating in nine of them. More than 160 aircraft are already in operation and, so far, the international fleet has logged more than 170 000 flight hours and 26 000 combat hours.

The A-29 Super Tucano is capable of performing a broad range of missions that include light attack, aerial surveillance and interception, and counter-insurgency.

The Super Tucano is equipped with a variety of sensors and equipment, including an electo-optical/infrared system with laser designator, night vision goggles, secure communications and data-link package.

Armament comprises one .50-caliber machinegun in each wing. Five hardpoints can carry a maximum external load of 1 550 kilograms (3 420 lb). Weapons options include gun pods, bombs, rocket pods, and (on the two outboard stations) air-to-air missiles.