Mali orders six Super Tucanos


Mali has signed a contract with Embraer for six A-29 Super Tucano light attack and advanced training turboprops.

The signing ceremony, held at the Paris Air Show on Monday, was attended by the Minister of Defense from the Republic of Mali, Tieman Coulibaly. Embraer said the contract includes logistic support for the operation of these aircraft and also provides a training system for pilots and mechanics of the Mali Air Force.

The A-29 Super Tucano will be deployed for advanced training, border surveillance, and internal security missions.
“With this contract, we are adding another important customer in Africa, where several countries already operate the Super Tucano,” said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. “This is a robust and versatile airplane, with proven experience in combat and will fulfil with excellence the missions for which it was selected. We welcome Mali Air Force as a new operator of the Super Tucano and we are sure this new partnership will last for many years.”
“We are quite satisfied with the way our military and defence cooperation with the Federal Republic of Brazil is developing. As for the Super Tucano, we all know how this aircraft is appreciated worldwide for its versatility and simplicity. To put it short, I am happy to sign this contract today”, said Coulibaly.

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. On the continent, the Super Tucano has been ordered by Angola, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal.

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.

Late last year Ghana announced it would acquire five new Super Tucanos.

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.