Training to become a jet fighter pilot ? It will be in the Tucano. The U.S. Air Force (USAF) announced that it has selected the Embraer Defense and Security´s A-29 Super Tucano for its Light Air Support (LAS) program. The aircraft will be used to conduct advanced flight training, aerial reconnaissance, and light air support operations. After a thorough rebidding process, the USAF considered the Tucano to be the superior choice for this critical mission. The A-29 Super Tucano is a robust, versatile and powerful turboprop aircraft capable of carrying out a wide range of missions, including close air support and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
The airplane is in use with nine air forces around the world and, for more than five years, has employed state-of-the-art munitions on real operational missions. More than 190 Super Tucanos have been ordered, and over 170 delivered. The aircraft has logged more than 180,000 flight hours and 28,000 combat hours. It is equipped with advanced electronic, electro-optic, infrared and laser system technologies, as well as secure radio systems with data links and unrivalled munitions capacity. This makes it highly reliable and allows for an excellent cost-benefit ratio for a wide range of military missions, even operating from unpaved runways and in hostile environments. These characteristics, along with its proven combat record, make it the logical choice for the LAS mission. The aircraft is a turboprop aircraft designed for light attack, counter insurgency(COIN), close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions in low threat environments, as well as providing pilot training. Designed to operate in high temperature and humidity conditions in extremely rugged terrain, the Super Tucano is highly maneuverable, has a low heat signature, incorporates 4th generation avionics and weapons system to deliver precision guided munitions. Therefore, the Tucano and Super Tucano are some of the best trainers for the US AirForce, but many other countries have also signed for this aircraft, for the same missions.