www.elbitsystems.com.auEmbraer has announced that the worldwide fleet of the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft has reached 500,000 flight hours. With more than 260 units delivered, the aircraft has already been selected by more than 15 air forces worldwide, including the United States Air Force (USAF), as well as several countries in Latin America, including Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Brazil, the first aircraft operator in the world.

“We are delighted to share this important milestone with the Chilean Air Force, our long-time customer,” said Bosco Costa Junior, Chief Commercial Officer, Embraer Defense and Security. “In addition to 500,000 flight hours, the A-29 has also accumulated more than 60,000 hours in combat. In fact, it is the only advanced light attack, reconnaissance, and training turboprop platform currently in production with proven combat capabilities across the world.”

“Since the arrival of the first units of these aircraft to the Chilean Air Force, in 2009, the A-29 Super Tucano has stood out for its operational versatility, robustness and operating costs. I thank Embraer for having chosen FIDAE to celebrate this important milestone in the Super Tucano’s operational history,” said the Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Air Force, Air Force General Arturo Merino Núñez.

Developed in response to the demanding requirements of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), the A-29 Super Tucano can perform a broad range of missions that include light attack, aerial surveillance and interception, and counterinsurgency. The A-29 is rugged and versatile, being able to operate from remote and unpaved runways on advanced operational bases in hostile environments with little support—all with low operating costs and high availability (above 90 percent).

In addition to combat roles, the aircraft is widely used as an advanced trainer. Its ability to simulate combat missions and upload and download flight data has made it a highly effective training platform. As a genuine multi-mission aircraft, the A-29 is flexible enough to provide air forces with a single platform for light attack, armed reconnaissance, close air support, and advanced training, thus optimising their fleets.

It is equipped with a variety of state-of-the-art sensors and weapons, including an electro-optical/infrared system with laser designator, night vision goggles, secure communications and a data-link package. Its systems allow the gathering and sharing of time-critical information, and the aircraft can operate as part of a networked environment.

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