The Philippine Air Force officially commissioned six A-29B Super Tucano aircraft in October last year, becoming one of Embraer’s new customers for the light attack and training aircraft.
The Asian country, however, has revealed that it plans to receive another 18 aircraft by 2024. In an article published in Flight Path magazine, the Air Force plans to deliver 12 planes by 2022 and another six turboprops later.
“This is a project that was 12 years in the making as part of the revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (AFPMP). The project has fi nally come to fruition and six (6) aircraft were offi cially commissioned to the Philippine Air Force, under 15th Strike Wing, on 13 October 2020, with additional 12 more aircraft by 2022 and six (6) more on the way ahead for a total of 24 Tucanos soaring the Philippine skies by the end of 2024,” said the publication.
During the delivery of the first planes in 2020, the Philippine defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, told that the government is considering acquiring another batch of A-29.
The Super Tucanos will be used in Close Air Support (CAS), Light Attack, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions and replace the old OV-10 Bronco twin engines.
“It has a low heat signature and incorporates 4th generation avionics and weapons system (electro-optical and infrared system capable, laser range fi nder and data link, net centric data recorder) inside a modern and functional cockpit”, adds the article.
In addition to the Philippines, the A-29 is expected to enter service soon with the Nigeria Air Force, which will receive 12 aircraft assembled by Embraer’s partner, Sierra Nevada.
According to rumors, Hungary may be the next customer of the Brazilian training aircraft. The country’s air force has not had such aircraft since the retirement of the L-39 Albatros jets.