A-29 Super Tucano. A Proven Performer
The A-29 Super Tucano takes the principle of multi-tasking to new levels
It’s an airplane that is already proven in operations, flown by some 16 air forces around the world. It has now completed a staggering 500,000flight hours globally, some 60,000 of those in combat. And the clock keeps ticking. Indeed, every week and every month, those combat hours continue to grow, further proof – if proof were needed – of the incredible versatility of the aircraft.
Because the Embraer A-29 Super Tucano has the remarkable ability to fulfil not just one operational role but three. In almost every respect, one of Embraer’s most iconic and well-respected creations is an exceptional aircraft, the lowest risk-solution for any air force, both in terms of its flexibility and, quite literally, its survivability.
Since the A-29 Super Tucano took its first flight at the end of the last century, it has impressed the military with its performance, three-times over! It is admired as much for its abilities as a Tactical Trainer Aircraft, as it is for its ability as an aircraft for Light Attack (it is the first light attack aircraft in the world with a US Air Force Military Type Certificate) and Armed Reconnaissance.
Designed from the beginning as a multi-mission aircraft, this mature, always-available three-in-one design has made it a firm favorite with buyers stretching from Nigeria to the Philippines. Highly versatile, it is easily configurable on-site; a single platform with multiple applications.
In its training role, it excels. Much more than an advanced trainer only, it is also ideal for Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training, helping the troops on the ground to designate and coordinate ground attack scenarios. To this end, the aircraft is fully combat representative. Indeed, this is a clear point of differentiation.
Operators of the A-29 have found that it significantly helps the efficiency and effectiveness of transitioning aircrew between a training aircraft and the very latest fighters, especially when it comes to some of the new technology installed. Less time spent in the cockpit of an expensive fighter learning to use systems and technologies with which they may already be familiar with from the A-29 means considerably less cost, in an age when budgets are stretched, and value-for-money a major imperative.
Beyond its training role, the A29 also excels asa Light Attack Aircraft, and has done for many years in actual combat theaters. It can perform a multitude of roles, from close air support to air interdiction, with a remarkably diverse array of weaponry depending on the need and environment. As an Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft, the A-29 Super Tucano is similarly proven in a Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance (SCAR) role and as an Air Scout.
Responding to customer needs
Financial constraints are a familiar challenge, and an aircraft that is flexible and can be configured to perform multiple roles has immediate appeal. But Embraer recognizes that the best can always be better. This is why it is evolving a flight plan for future upgrades that will ensure its relevance and capability for another 20 years.
The continual evolution of the aircraft supports the qualities that the A-29 Super Tucano is already known for and delivers. It is highly maneuverable, especially at a low level, and has proven survivability, even in some of the most challenging environments. The airframe is structurally superior, with a high level of safety integrity based on civil standards, and the canopy designed, tested and certified to resist bird strikes. It also offers the pilot exceptional all-round visibility, something that is essential while training, or in combat. The aircraft leaves only a very low IR and RCS signature and is equipped with a broad range of defensive warning and decoy systems to prevent the aircraft from being ‘seen’ or targeted.
A versatile and powerful turboprop aircraft known for its rugged and durable design, the A-29 is one of the most flexible platforms of its day. And thanks to Embraer’s extensive program of investment, it will continue performing well into the future.