Ecuador has finalised a contract to become the fifth Latin American nation to buy the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano trainer and light attack aircraft.?xml:namespace>
The Brazilian manufacturer on 23 March announced that negotiations over a nine-month-old agreement with the ?xml:namespace>Ecuadorian air force have finally been completed, following reported difficulties with the financing arrangements.
The deal covers the supply of 24 turboprop-powered Super Tucanos, with these to replace Ecuador’s ageing fleet of Cessna A-37 strike aircraft, and help re-assert control over the country’s airspace.
Last March, Ecuador strongly objected to Colombian air force raids on FARC rebel compounds on its soil. Embraer confirms the Super Tucanos will be used by Ecuador for border patrol and training purposes.
“We are honoured to expand our relationship with the Ecuadorian government, which already operates many Embraer aircraft models,” says Orlando José Ferreira Neto, the company's executive vice-president, Defense and Government Market.
Embraer has now sold a total of 169 Super Tucanos, including earlier deals with Brazil, Chile, Colombia (one of its 25 examples pictured below) and the Dominican Republic. Blackwater USA, a private security firm, has also previously confirmed applying for import clearance to acquire one example for use as a trainer.
Ecuador has also announced plans to upgrade Israeli Aircraft Industries Kfir fighters, and acquire Israeli-made unmanned aircraft systems.