Security and training company Blackwater USA confirmed that it has applied for a license to acquire one Embraer Super Tucano light attack trainer.
The acquisition is on hold pending licensing approval by the US government, a Blackwater spokeswoman said.?xml:namespace>
The aircraft would launch a new pilot training programme for Blackwater, which provides a broad range of training and operational services for military and law enforcement clients.
The Super Tucano programme would be limited to providing for US personnel only, the spokeswoman adds, and the aircraft would not be allowed to leave the country.
The pending license also mandates that all weapons, including the 12.7mm, wing-mounted guns and provisions for smart bomb stores, are not used as part of the training mission.
The pending deal for the two-seat Super Tucano would launch Blackwater’s first training programme dedicated towards a light attack jet. Brazil and Columbia both employ the Super Tucano to battle drug smugglers and insurgents.
The US Air Force, meanwhile, is soliciting for bids to acquire a new fleet of counter-insurgency aircraft on behalf of the Iraqi Air Force.
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