Embraer's pursuit of a 20-aircraft light air support (LAS) deal with the US Air Force has been boosted by a new agreement to team up with Boeing, signed yesterday at the Farnborough air show.

The pact will lead to the US company integrating attack weapons including its JDAM series on the Brazilian manufacturer's A-29 Super Tucano, says Dennis Muilenburg, president of Boeing Defense, Space and Security.

It comes as a legal spat continues over the LAS procurement, which will deliver armed aircraft for Afghanistan's air force.

Embraer and Sierra Nevada were selected ahead of the rival AT-6 promoted by Hawker Beechcraft and Lockheed Martin, which appealed the decision to order the A-29. The USAF has launched a new contest.

"The agreement we have made is a differentiator" in the LAS contest, says Luiz Carlos Aguiar, president of Embraer Defense and Security. It will also result in "an even better counter-insurgency aircraft for international customers", he says.

Boeing and Embraer also recently agreed to work together on technologies linked to the latter's KC-390 transport/tanker and Muilenburg says other cooperation agreements are likely to follow.

Source: Flight Daily News