Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff has approved the donation of three ex-Brazilian Air Force Embraer EMB-312 Tucano trainer aircraft to Mozambique and says her country may finance the acquisition of a three Super Tucanos to boost the operational and combat capabilities of the Mozambican armed forces.
The donation was announced by Brazilian defence minister Celso Amorim when he concluded his visit to Maputo last week as part of a tri-nation tour which also included Angola and South Africa. Through the visit, the South American country sought to boost defence ties and improve the marketing of its aerospace defence products to security forces in the Southern African region.
Following his meeting with Mozambican defence minister Agostinho Mondhlane, Amorim said the Tucanos will be delivered to Mozambique after the expected approval of the donation by the National Assembly since the president has already approved the donation.
Further, he said Brazil will advance mid-term to long-term loans to Mozambique for the acquisition of three Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano advanced trainer and light attack aircraft, which are more expensive when compared to the EMB-312 Tucano.
The minister said Mozambique “may be offered mid or long term finance to acquire three Super Tucano (Embraer EMB-314) aircraft. If Mozambique confirms the interest shown in the past of acquiring three fighter aircraft, which are relatively expensive, there is the possibility of offering mid and long term funding,” he said.
Built by Brazilian defence and security company Embraer the EMB 314 Super Tucano is a turbo-prop aircraft designed for light attack, counter insurgency, close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions in low threat environments and pilot training. The aircraft is designed to operate in high temperature and humidity conditions in extremely rugged terrain.
Embraer has recorded a number of orders for its Super Tucano from African countries, which see it as a low cost light attack aircraft that can also be used as a trainer. On the continent, the Super Tucano has been ordered by Angola, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal. Embraer is highly optimistic about future orders for the type from Africa.
Amiron said Brazilian is also willing to help Mozambique in improving the operational capabilities of its navy by contributing towards the acquisition of a naval training simulator to expand the scope of collaboration on naval security between the two countries. The Brazilian Navy will next month send a systems assessment mission to determine the state of the Mozambican naval bases in Maputo and Pemba for possible upgrade.
Amorim’s four-day visit to Africa between March 19 and 22 saw him tour Denel Dynamics’ facilities, which are developing the A-Darter air-to-air missile with Brazil. It will be used by the South African Air Force’s Gripen C/Ds and Brazil’s Gripen NGs when these enter service.
Mozambique is rebuilding its armed forces, ordering patrol vessels for its navy and a variety of aircraft for its small air force. In September last year it received a second hand Hawker 850XP business jet, built in 2005. In November it emerged that the country is acquiring two second hand Antonov An-26Bs, eight overhauled MiG-21s (six Mig-21Bis and two MiG-21UM trainers) from Romanian company Aerostar, together with an L-39 jet trainer and two Festival light aircraft. The arrival of the MiG-21s will give the Air Force a jet capability not had in years, as its MiG-21s have fallen into disrepair and are grounded.
Pic: Guillaume Paumier.