The United States, as a contributing nation to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, transferred four A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to the Afghan Air Force, during a ceremony in Kabul on Sept. 17, 2020.
“As we receive these planes, they are a message that NATO is committed to the Afghan Forces,” said acting Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid. “During these important times this a good example of their continued cooperation, and shows this will continue until the defeat of terrorism in the country and the region.”
The A-29 is the Afghan Air Force’s fastest and most powerful aerial interdiction and close-air-attack aircraft. The U.S. has now provided 18 A-29s to the Afghan Air Force since 2016, and plans to transfer an additional six in February 2021.
“I congratulate you all on receiving these new airplanes,” Minister Khalid told a large assembly of pilots and security officials. “I hope they will fly day and night if necessary in order to defend our country.”
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.