Days after securing the sale of Super Tucanos to Mali, Embraer has announced that Ghana has signed a contract for five A-29 Super Tucano light attack and advanced training turboprops.
The contract will come into effect once certain conditions have been fulfilled. These conditions are expected to be fulfilled during the second half of 2015, Embraer said on 19 June.
The contract includes logistic support for the operation of these aircraft as well as the set-up of a training system for pilots and mechanics in Ghana that will provide the autonomy of the Ghana Air Force in preparing qualified personnel.
The A-29 Super Tucanos will be deployed for advanced training, border surveillance and internal security missions.
“We are pleased to welcome Ghana Air Force as a new operator of the Super Tucano, an aircraft that is already consolidated in the global market, expanding our presence in Africa”, said Jackson Schneider, President of Embraer Defense & Security. “We are confident that, with this acquisition, the Air Force of Ghana will be equipped with the most appropriate and proven solution to attend its operational needs”
Mali signed a contract for six Super Tucanos on 15 June, joining Angola, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal as African customers.
The A-29 Super Tucano is currently used by ten air forces in three continents, with more than 210 firm orders and 190 aircraft delivered. It was also selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) for its Light Air Support (LAS) programme. The global fleet has flown over 230,000 flight hours and 30,000 combat hours.
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.
Angola officially received its first three of six Super Tucanos in July 2013 and is using them for border surveillance, attack and pilot training. Burkina Faso was the first African country to take delivery of a Super Tucano, receiving three aircraft in September 2011 for border patrol missions. In October 2012 Mauritania received its first aircraft, featuring sensor turrets for surveillance duties, although they will also be used for counter-insurgency missions.
In April 2013 Senegal bought three A-29 Super Tucanos as well as a training system for pilots and mechanics.
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.