Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Embraer Defense & Security will deliver an additional A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to the US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).
The aircraft will be the third A-29 delivered to the service under an existing contract announced earlier this year. Production of the first two examples is currently taking place at SNC’s facility in Jacksonville, Florida – with deliveries of all three expected to take place next year. The contract will also see the company provide training and support services through 2024.
The firm will also provide associated ground and logistics support equipment, pilot training, spares and sustainment for AFSOC’s Combat Aviation Advisor (CAA) mission.
Ed Topps, vice president of Tactical Aircraft Systems and Programs for SNC’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Aviation and Security (IAS) business area, said: “SNC is proud of our close partnership with the [USAF], specifically in identifying ways to acquire the additional A-29 at the best value to the US taxpayer and in support of US and allied operations… [The company] is [honoured] to build and deliver the combat-proven A-29 to the [USAF].”
The A-29 Super Tucano is in service or has been selected by 15 air arms to fulfil light attack, reconnaissance and counterinsurgency (COIN) capabilities. Examples of the A-29A and/or A-29B are currently operated by Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania and the US (as part of the air force’s light attack experiment programmes). The platform is currently on order with Nigeria and the Philippines. The platform was also ordered by Senegal, but no progress has been made on delivering the type to the Armée de l’Air Sénégalaise (Senegalese Air Force) since the contract was signed in April 2013. The African nation has just taken delivery of its first two (of four) Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KA-1S Woongbi light attack/training aircraft, suggesting that its A-29 acquisition plans have been scrapped.
Update (22/05 - 1845hrs) : Please note, the last paragraph was updated to reflect the recent delivery of two KA-1S Woongbi light attack/training aircraft to the Senegalese Air Force.