Indonesia aims to order eight Super Tucanos

Singapore
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The Indonesian air force has decided to order eight Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano trainer and light-attack aircraft, but the nation's defence ministry has yet to approve the deal.

Several other types were also considered for the requirement, such as the Korea Aerospace Industries KT-1, 12 of which are already in air force use as trainers. If approved, the initial order will be for eight aircraft, with the possibility of further orders later on, industry sources say. It would represent Embraer's first Super Tucano sale into the Asian market.

Despite the air force's decision, a deal still requires the approval of the defence ministry, which is conducting its own technical evaluation of the candidate aircraft.

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  © Embraer

Indonesia's air force plans to use the Super Tucano for some light-attack tasks, with the type to replace its 1960s-era Rockwell OV-10 Broncos. The ageing type has become costly to maintain, and Flightglobal's MiliCAS database says only two are operational.

The requirement that the aircraft potentially be used for attack duties effectively ruled out Embraer's biggest competitor in the trainer market, Pilatus. The manufacturer has a policy of not selling attack aircraft to developing nations, in line with Switzerland's general stance as a neutral country.

Indonesia used its Broncos between the 1970s and 1990s to put down Timor-Leste's left-leaning Fretilin independence movement.

Timor-Leste gained independence from Jakarta in 2002 and presently Indonesia has no major insurgencies. But the tribes in its West Papua province have a decades-old struggle for independence that sometimes erupts into fighting.