Ghana has joined the growing club of African Embraer A-29 Super Tucano operators after ordering five of the Brazilian light-attack turboprops for its air force.
In a 22 June statement, Embraer said the contract should come into effect later this year once “certain conditions have been fulfilled”. The deal provides aircraft as well as logistics support, and establishes a local training programme for the A-29 pilots and mechanics in Ghana.
Embraer says Ghana intends to use the Super Tucanos for “advanced training, border surveillance and internal security missions”.
The company did not provide a contract value or delivery date.
The order follows recent announcements that Mali and Lebanon will buy Super Tucanos. Embraer revealed last week that Mali has placed an order for six aircraft, and the US government recently approved the sale of six American-made versions to Lebanon.
The aircraft has been in production since 2003. Embraer says it has secured “more than 210 firm [A-29] orders”, and about 190 have been delivered to date.
Ghana does not currently have a dedicated, fixed-wing attack aircraft. According to Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database, it operates about 20 military aircraft including a small fleet of Russian Mi-17 utility helicopters and two Airbus C295 transports.
“We are pleased to welcome Ghana Air Force as a new operator of the Super Tucano, an aircraft that is already consolidated in the global market, expanding our presence in Africa,” says Embraer Defense & Security president Jackson Schneider. “We are confident that, with this acquisition, the air force of Ghana will be equipped with the most appropriate and proven solution to attend its operational needs.”
Ghana is the fifth African nation to procure the A-29 – joining Angola, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Mali.
Powered by one Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68/3 turboprop engine, the Super Tucano is equipped to carry a variety of smart bombs, rockets and air-to-air weapons as well as forward-firing guns.