U.S. Air Force Buys Super Tucano Planes from Brazil

By Dialogo
January 04, 2012

The U.S. Air Force has acquired 20 of the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer’s Super Tucano aircraft for a program of advanced flight training, reconnaissance, and support operations, the firm announced in a statement.

Worth a total of $355 million dollars, the contract also includes “land-based support for pilot training, maintenance, and other needed services,” in addition to supplying the planes.

“We’re honored to have the opportunity to offer the U.S. Government the best product for the LAS (Light Air Support) mission,” indicated Luiz Carlos Aguiar, the president of Embraer’s defense and security branch, according to the statement.

“Our commitment is to move forward on our strategy of investment in the United States and to deliver the Super Tucano within the time period and in conformity with the budget agreed on in the contract,” he added.

Embraer won this contract in partnership with the U.S.-based Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), specialized in the development of electronic systems.

“We believe in the goals of the Light Air Support mission and are proud to be able to support the United States in its partner-building efforts in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world,” Taco Gilbert, SNC’s vice-president for intelligence business development, indicated for his part.

The Super Tucano is a modernized version of the Tucano training plane operated by the forces of 15 countries.

Embraer, the world’s third-ranking aeronautics manufacturer producing commercial planes, announced a year ago that it was creating a department dedicated to defense, in order to strengthen the development of security and communications systems.

The defense sector represents 7 percent of Embraer’s revenue, behind the commercial (58 percent) and executive (19 percent) sectors.

These are very good planes… the best in the world, congratulations to the United States for this fabulous purchase…