The evolution of a species or product usually results in massive improvements. Embraer have not disappointed with the latest model of the Tucano advanced trainer light attack aircraft.
In April 2023, Embraer announced the launch of the A-29N Super Tucano, a light attack, armed reconnaissance, and advanced training aircraft, developed from the Embraer EMB 312 Tucano. The EMB-312 prototype first flew on 9 September 1991.
With an initial focus on meeting the needs of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) nations in Europe, the new version of the aircraft, the A-29N, will include equipment and features to fulfil NATO’s operational requirements.
“This is a new stage in the operational life of the A-29 Super Tucano. We see many application possibilities for the A-29N at the moment. Several European countries have shown interest in specific aircraft capabilities that we have now introduced with this version,” said Bosco da Costa Junior, President and CEO of Embraer Defence and Security.
A new data-link and single-pilot operation features will further increase the aircraft’s employment possibilities, allowing its use in JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) training missions. This training will include virtual, augmented and mixed reality scenarios.
The United States Air Force (USAF) is one of the many 15 air forces worldwide that has selected the Tucano for operational service, with over 260 aircraft sold to date.
Developed as a highly versatile aircraft, the A-29 Super Tucano can perform a broad range of missions from advanced trainer, light attack, aerial surveillance and interception, and counter-insurgency (COIN) operations. The A-29 can operate from remote and unpaved runways on forward-deployed operational bases with little support. Operating costs are low and the aircraft has a high availability of over 90%.
In its role as a trainer, the Super Tucano can simulate combat missions by uploading and downloading flight data. The A-29N Tucano is a real multi-mission aircraft, with the flexibility to provide a single platform for advanced training, light attack, reconnaissance and close air support, allowing air forces to optimize their fleets.
The A-29 Super Tucano can carry a wide variety of weapons, including precision-guided ammunitions and is designed to be a low-cost system operated in low-threat environments. In each wing is a M3P 12.7 mm (.50 in) machine gun which with a firing rate up to 1,100 rounds per minute.
Equipped with various state-of-the-art sensors and weapons, including an electro-optical/infrared system with a laser designator, night vision goggles, secure voice communications, and a data-link package, the A-29N Super Tucano is a leader in its field, combining superior aircraft performance with 21st-century weapons, integrated sensors, and surveillance systems to create a highly influential air power component.
Embraer has also set up a production line in the United States in conjunction with Sierra Nevada Corporation for the manufacture of export A-29s.
Length: 11.38 m (37 ft. 4 in)
Wingspan: 11.14 m (36 ft. 7 in)
Height: 3.97 m (13 ft. 0 in)
Wing area: 19.4 m2 (209 sq. ft.)
Empty weight: 3,200 kg (7,055 lb.)
Max t/o weight: 5,400 kg (11,905 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68C rated at 1,196 kW (1,604 hp.)
Propeller: 5-blade Hartzell constant-speed, fully feathering, reversible-pitch propeller
Maximum speed: 590 km/h (370 mph, 320 knots)
Cruise speed: 520 km/h (320 mph, 280 knots)
Stall speed: 148 km/h (92 mph, 80 knots)
Range: 1,330 km (830 mi, 720 n/miles)
Combat range: 550 km (340 mi, 300 n/miles)
Endurance: 8 hours 24 minutes