Thursday, 23 July 2015

Super Tucano, Embraer Soaring in Africa

Super Tucano, Embraer Soaring in Africa"The surge of the African military aviation market over the past five years has been premised on the steady growth of the oil and mineral-based economies of most buyer nations," said Sibanda, a retired lieutenant colonel and aircraft engineer of the Zimbabwean Air Force who now works for a private aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) firm in Australia. "It was also spurred by force modernization needs to counter the threat of transnational terrorism, piracy and insurgencies in North, East and West Africa.

African demand for Embraer Defense and Security's flagship A-29 Super Tucano light attack/trainer turbo-prop aircraft is set to surge as economically strained countries seeking cheaper multirole aircraft settle for its lower price tag, operational simplicity and ease of maintenance, a senior African military analyst said.

The prediction by African military aviation analyst George Sibanda comes weeks after the Brazilian company confirmed 11 new firm orders of the A-29 Super Tucano from Mali and Ghana. Both countries plan to deploy their A-29 aircraft on pilot training and other internal security missions, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).

In company statements released in June, Embraer Defense and Security President Jackson Schneider said both orders mark an expansion of the company's African market, "where several countries already operate the Super Tucano. This is a robust and versatile airplane, with proven experience in combat and will fulfill with excellence the missions for which it was selected."

He said the Super Tucano is the only aircraft that suits the counterterrorism role as it can be used for both surveillance and combat.

Despite the projected short- to medium-term slump in military aircraft demand from oil-based African and Middle Eastern economies, Sibanda said, Embraer stands a better chance to expand its attack/trainer aircraft market in Africa than its Western and Russian competitors.Read More...


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