SAO PAULO, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Air Force (USAF) announced today that it has selected the Embraer Defense and Security´s A-29 Super Tucano for its Light Air Support (LAS) program. The aircraft will be supplied in partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) as the prime contractor, and will be used to conduct advanced flight training, aerial reconnaissance, and light air support operations. After a thorough rebidding process, the USAF considered the overall solution offered by Embraer Defense and Security and SNC to be the superior choice for this critical mission.
As specified by the U.S. Air Force, this is a USD 427 million contract for 20 Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft, as well as ground-based devices to support pilot training and all maintenance and supply requirements for the aircraft and associated equipment. The aircraft selected for the LAS program will be built in Jacksonville, Florida.
The A-29 Super Tucano is a robust, versatile and powerful turboprop aircraft capable of carrying out a wide range of missions, including close air support and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The airplane is in use with nine air forces around the world and, for more than five years, has employed state-of-the-art munitions on real operational missions. More than 190 Super Tucanos have been ordered, and over 170 delivered. The aircraft has logged more than 180,000 flight hours and 28,000 combat hours. 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. This makes it highly reliable and allows for an excellent cost-benefit ratio for a wide range of military missions, even operating from unpaved runways and in hostile environments. These characteristics, along with its proven combat record, make it the logical choice for the LAS mission.