Embraer unveils upgrades to light-attack/trainer aircraft

Embraer used Asian Aerospace to launch its Super Tucano basic trainer/light-attack aircraft in international markets.

The aircraft, a Tucano upgrade, has a more powerful 1,600shp (1,200kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68/3, a new cockpit incorporating Elbit avionics and a reinforced, damage-tolerant structure.

Embraer's decision to begin international marketing follows the Brazilian government's order last year for 76 Super Tucanos plus 23 options. The Dominican Republic has also ordered 10 aircraft.

Anatstacio Katsanos, Embraer marketing strategy manager, says the Super Tucano's single- and two-seat variants are being offered for counter insurgency (COIN), operational support and basic training.

Eduardo Munhos de Campos, director international business development defence marketing, says the aircraft will be delivered to the Brazilian air force at a rate of two per month from December next year. Super Tucanos will be built at Embraer's new Gavi‹o Peixoto factory, which has a six-a-month production capacity.

Munhos says Embraer predicts a market for more than 500 aircraft over 10 years. Latin America and South-East Asia, where there are many ageing COIN aircraft, arekey areas for Embraer, he adds. The UK has been briefed on the Super Tucano for its proposed privately financed military training system while the United Arab Emirateshas also received information on the type.

Source: Flight International