Sierra Nevada Corporation and its partner Embraer Defense & Security have received orders from the U.S. 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 Program operations. Production of these six new aircraft is to start immediately in Jacksonville, Florida and brings to 26 the total number of aircraft provided to the Program.
“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,” said Jackson Schneider, president and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. “We are honored to continue to support the U.S. 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. 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 program operations.
“We are proud to continue our support of the Air Force’s A-29 Afghanistan Program as it is not only a testament to the capability of the A-29 aircraft, but also to its ease of operation and cost effectiveness,” said Taco Gilbert, senior vice president for SNC’s ISR business area. “There is no other aircraft like the A-29 in its ability to provide flight training, light attack, and combat pilot seasoning. Its continued demand demonstrates its value to air forces the world over.”
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.