VIDEO: Super Tucano’s case to become USAF’s next fighter

In Fort Lauderdale on Monday, Embraer and new partner Sierra Nevada showed off a Super Tucano that had just completed flight demonstrations for the US Air Force. The light-strike turboprop is bidding for the light air support (LAS) contract against the Lockheed Martin/Hawker Beechcraft AT-6. This particular Super Tucano was on loan to the manufacturer from an unidentified African country (which I believe is probably Burkina Faso), and features an unusually soft paint scheme.

The big news is that Sierra Nevada is Embraer’s prime contractor for the bid. Under the US Army’s medium altitude reconnaissance and surveillance system (MARSS) contract, Sierra Nevada delivered the aerial surveillance version of the King Air 350s to the Iraqi Air Force. The goals of the LAS program are similar, but the light strike fighters will be delivered to the Afghan Air Force. Contract award for LAS is scheduled in June.

Meanwhile, Sierra Nevada pilot Chris Brayman spoke to reporters about the light strike mission, and why he thinks the Super Tucano is a good fit. See below.


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2 Responses to VIDEO: Super Tucano’s case to become USAF’s next fighter

  1. Tim D-T 3 February, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    Nice to see the Super Tucano hopefully get some traction here. I recall the Navy’s experimental effort where they loaded up a Super Tucano with all sorts of sensors and datalinks and it did quite well in tests and exercises. Unfortunately, a congressman or senator who preferred Beechcraft made sure that Navy effort ran into a dead end, even though the Super Tucano was built from day one as a combat aircraft, whereas the AT-6 Texan has obvious compromises when trying to convert it into a combat role.

  2. mike j 4 February, 2011 at 12:51 am #

    Is the commenting fixed yet?

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