Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and its partner Embraer Defense & Security recently received orders from the US Air Force’s (USAF) A-29 Afghanistan Program for six more A-29 Super TUCANO aircraft. The A-29 is used to conduct advanced flight training, aerial reconnaissance, and other A-29 Afghanistan programme operations. Production of these six new aircraft is to start immediately in Jacksonville, FL/USA and brings to 26 the total number of aircraft provided to the programme. This is what MONS was talking about here.
“We believe this decision demonstrates that the A-29 Super TUCANO is the best aircraft for close air support operations, as well as the most proven, reliable and cost-effective solution for counterinsurgency and irregular warfare scenarios,” Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security, said. “We are honored to continue to support the US government in this critical mission.”
To date, the A-29 Super TUCANO has been selected by 13 air forces worldwide and holds an excellent performance record: over 320,000 flight hours and 40,000 combat hours. With more than 150 certified load configurations, it is equipped with advanced electronic, electro-optic, infrared and laser system technologies, as well as secure radio systems with data links and unrivalled munitions capacity. According to the company, "the A-29 is the only aircraft of its type with a USAF military type certificate, resulting in both cost and time savings, and a smooth transition into programme operations."
The A-29 has been active in Afghanistan since early 2016. Its ability to operate in rugged terrain, extreme climates, and austere locations with a small operational and maintenance footprint has resulted in successful operations from at least four bases in-country. SNC, together with Embraer, developed and delivered the light attack capability from program start to combat capability in just three years, including all supporting equipment and training systems.
A detailed article on the A-29 Super TUCANO, a combat proven aircraft, can be found here.