Indonesia and Embraer have signed the final contract for eight EMB-314 Super Tucanos, clearing the way for deliveries to start in 2012.

The deal was announced in November 2010 following a bidding contest involving several other types, including the Korea Aerospace Industries KT-1. Indonesia's air force operates 11 KT-1s as trainers.

"This contract represents a bold step for the Super Tucano footprint in the world," said Orlando Neto, commercial senior vice-president for Embraer Defense and Security. "We welcome the Indonesian air force as the newest operator of an Embraer Defense and Security product, and they will be served and satisfied with the same excellence, quality and efficiency that extend to all customers."

The Brazilian company said Indonesia will use the aircraft in a range of roles, such as light attack, surveillance, air-to-air interception and counter-insurgency.

The EMB-314 can operate from unpaved runways with a variety of armaments, including its two wing-housed 12.7mm machine guns. Other weapons can include conventional and laser-guided bombs, plus rocket pods and air-to-air missiles. The aircraft also carries an electro-optical/infrared sensor, laser designator and secure radios with datalinks.

Although Indonesia is largely peaceful, it has suffered internal unrest over the years in outlying provinces such as Aceh on Sumatra and in West Papua. The Rockwell OV-10 Bronco, which the EMB-314 will replace, saw extensive service in these conflicts, as well as during the rebellion in the former province of East Timor from 1975 to 2002.

The Super Tucano is operated by the air forces of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador, with the type having now logged over 120,000 flight hours.

Source: Flight International