Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) will deliver an additional A-29 Super Tucano for the Combat Aviation Advisor (CAA) mission for Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) in an agreement with the U.S. Air Force.
The aircraft will be the third A-29 delivered under the existing contract, which was announced earlier this year.
“SNC is proud of our close partnership with the U.S Air Force, specifically in identifying ways to acquire the additional A-29 at the best value to the U.S. taxpayer and in support of U.S. and allied operations,” said Ed Topps, vice president of tactical aircraft systems and programs for SNC’s ISR, Aviation, and Security (IAS) business area. “SNC is honored to build and deliver the combat-proven A-29 to the U.S. Air Force.”
The undefinitized contracting action by the U.S. Air Force is for SNC, as prime contractor, and its partner, Embraer Defense & Security, to deliver a third A-29 aircraft, as well as ground support equipment, pilot training (including difference training and instructor pilot upgrade training), contractor logistic support, aircraft sparing, and sustainment for AFSOC’s CAA mission, which helps build international partner capacity.
For more than a decade, U.S. Special Forces have sought to secure the A-29 for close air support and reconnaissance operations. Production of the first two A-29s under this contract is currently underway in Jacksonville, Florida, with a planned delivery of the three aircraft in 2021. Training and support activities continue through 2024.
A-29 Super Tucano
Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, also named ALX or A-29, is a turboprop light attack, combat and reconnaissance aircraft designed and built by Brazil’s Embraer as a development of the Embraer EMB 312 Tucano. The aircraft can carry a wide variety of weapons, including precision-guided munitions, and was designed to be a low-cost system operated in low-threat environments.
In addition to its manufacture in Brazil, Embraer has set up a production line in the United States in conjunction with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) for the A-29’s many export customers. The A-29 is the only light attack aircraft in the world with a U.S. Air Force Military Type Certificate.
The A-29 is a versatile and powerful turboprop aircraft and is known for its rugged and durable design, which allows it to perform operations from unimproved runways and at forward operating bases in austere environments and rugged terrain.
The aircraft has been selected by 15 air forces around the world including Afghanistan and Lebanon to deliver cost-effective close air support (CAS) and reconnaissance capabilities. Last month, the first A-29 for the Nigerian Air Force successfully completed its inaugural flight at the Jacksonville production facility.