Super Tucano gets the nod for Afghanistan role
The Afghan Air Force is to receive 20 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft following a new deal between the USAF, supplier Sierra Nevada and OEM Embraer.
The $425million contract has been battled over by the US-Brazil partnership and American OEM Beechcraft.
The award is seen as offering a boost to Embraer’s new Defense and Security arm which will now be developing a major presence through the deal with Sierra Nevada Corporation
The two companies will supply 20 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, one basic aviation training device, one flight training device, six mission planning stations, and six mission debrief systems for the first delivery order. The companies will also have to provide long lead spares parts, flight certification to USAF military type certification standards, and data rights
‘The award marks the second time in a year that the A-29 has won this contract. The Air Force picked the trainer early last year as its choice for the contract, but were forced to retender the whole programme after Hawker Beechcraft lodged a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Office and filed a lawsuit in federal court.
The US Air Force relaunched the competition last April, although the Super Tucano and the AT-6 were the only competitors. (The relaunching of the contract nullified the lawsuit from Hawker.)
“The Light Air Support programme is essential to the United States’ objectives in Afghanistan and to our national security. It is a great honour to serve our country by providing the aircraft, training and support for this program,” Taco Gilbert, vice president of Integrated Tactical Solutions for SNC’s Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance business area, wrote in a statement sent out minutes after the contract was announced.
“The A-29 Super Tucano, with its proven track record, is exactly what’s needed for the LAS program where the mission is critical and time is short. We will deliver a superior product, on-time and on-budget” he said.
The Afghani Super Tucano will be built in Jacksonville, Florida. "The LAS contract will support more than 1,400 American jobs, reflecting the large US supplier base," the companies say in a joint statement.
The first of the 20 aircraft should be completed by April 2015, and the work continuing for four years afterwards.
Source: (arabianaerospace.aero) News - 28 February 2013
Photo: The Embraer Attack/Training Aircraft (Photo by flightglobal.com)