The A-29 Super Tucano was built specifically for counterinsurgency missions and is currently used by six air forces and on order by others. It has proven extremely capable for LAS missions and is credited with helping the Colombian government defeat the FARC and other governments counter illegal activities. The more than 150 units now in operation around the world have logged over 130,000 flight hours, including more than 18,000 combat hours without any combat loss.
"We are ready to support the LAS mission immediately," said Luiz Carlos Aguiar, President Embraer Defense and Security. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Embraer, the citizens of Florida and the thousands of employees who will be part of our supply chain. We look forward to working with SNC and the U.S. Air Force to provide these aircraft."
The LAS bid process received strong support from political leaders and Members of Congress from many states, including Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Texas and Oregon. "The goal of Sierra Nevada's team, which included its partner Embraer and major suppliers FLIR, based in Oregon, and Elbit Systems of America, based in Texas, was to present the U.S. Air Force and partner nations with the best LAS capability. We appreciate the many Members of Congress and other officials who supported a fair and open competition. We are particularly grateful to the many Florida state officials and members of the Florida congressional delegation who assisted in establishing a production facility in their state that will result in the creation of new jobs, bringing prosperity to their communities," SNC's Gilbert said.
The A-29 Super Tucano will be built in Jacksonville, FL by American employees with parts from American companies. Aircraft training will be provided in Clovis, NM. More than 70 U.S. suppliers in 21 states will supply parts or services for this contract. At least 1,200 U.S. jobs will be supported through this contract.Embraer is now moving to prepare for assembly operations. The new production facility in Jacksonville joins a facility in Melbourne recently opened by Embraer to assemble executive jets. With a fully developed aircraft, a familiar supply chain and SNC's expertise in providing in-theater logistical support, commanders in theater will take possession of the first A-29 Super Tucanos on-schedule and on-budget as per the LAS requirements.