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More Super Tucano sales possible this year

New orders for the Embraer A-29 Super Tucano appear imminent, with the airframer hoping to announce additional commitments before year-end.

Jackson Schneider, chief executive of Embraer Defense & Security, says it is in discussions "with about 10 countries in different stages of sales campaigns" and expects to announce "something this year".

The airframer is currently in the early stages of its contract to supply an initial 20 examples to the US Air Force as part of the service's Light Air Support requirement.

To be operated by the Afghan air force, so far six of the aircraft have been delivered from Embraer's Jacksonville, Florida facility, with a seventh to follow in the coming days.

Training activities for 30 Afghan pilots and 90 maintenence personnel are ongoing at Moody AFB in Georgia, said Schneider, speaking at a media briefing at its factory in Evora, Portugal on 22 May.

He says the success of the LAS contract, which could eventually total 55 aircraft, is "raising a lot of interest" in the Super Tucano.

"It is the only product for counter-insurgency applications that is designed for this purpose."

Production at the Jacksonville assembly line under the current 20-unit deal runs at least until part-way through 2016, he says. Although no further orders have been specifically assigned to the factory, Schneider says Embraer "expects to keep running the plant".

He notes that the A-29 has surpassed 30,000h of combat operations across a number of different regions.

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