Uruguay is negotiating the purchase of six to 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from Brazil for up to $40 million, defense news site Infodefensa reported. The deal would include parts, tools, and replacement material. “Considering the operational availability of these aircraft and the existence of Uruguayan pilots capable of flying them, it would be a matter of a few months to organize a schedule of deliveries, training of flight and ground personnel, as well as the adequacy of facilities in the unit that will receive and operate these airplanes,” Infodefensa reported.
According to the news site, in an interview with a local radio station, Uruguayan Defense Minister Javier García confirmed his country’s interest in acquiring new aircraft to patrol Uruguay’s airspace. If the deal goes through, Uruguay will be the fourth country to acquire Super Tucanos from Brazil, following Colombia, Chile, and the Dominican Republic.
The purchase of these units would allow Uruguay to recover and expand lost capacity with the 2017 decommissioning of Argentine-made FMA IA-58A Pucará aircraft and consolidate advanced training and interdiction of light aircraft, and as such be able to decommission the old Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer, Brazilian news site Poder Aéreo reported. The Cessna A-37 Dragonfly and the aforementioned Pilatus PC-7 are the Uruguayan Air Force’s only combat aircraft, Brazilian aviation news site Airway says.
According to Brazilian manufacturer Embraer, the Super Tucano is the only large-scale production aircraft in the world capable of carrying out advanced training and night surveillance missions. It is a light attack and advanced training turboprop aircraft that incorporates the latest advances in avionics and armaments. It was designed to meet the operational requirements of the Brazilian Air Force for a tactical attack aircraft, capable of operating in the Brazilian Amazon region, and as an initial trainer for fighter pilots. Developed in Brazil, the Super Tucano is being produced on two assembly lines, both in the country and in the United States. It is certified according to the most current military standards of the U.S. Air Force.