The Ecuadorian Air Force (Spanish: Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana, FAE) operates 18 Super Tucanos; they are established at Manta Air Base in two squadrons: 2313 “Halcones” (used for border surveillance and flight training) and 2311 “Dragones” (used for counterinsurgency). Ecuadorian Super Tucanos use the PT-6A-68A (1,300 shp) engine. The Ecuadorian Air Force A-29 has very robust landing gear and is able to land on runways as short as 500 meters.
On 23 March 2009, Embraer announced that negotiations over a nine-month-old agreement with the Ecuadorian air force have finally been completed. The deal covers the supply of 24 turboprop-powered Super Tucanos, with these to replace Ecuador’s aging fleet of Vietnam-era Cessna A-37 Dragonfly strike aircraft, and help reassert control over the country’s airspace.
In May 2010, after receiving its sixth Super Tucano from a contract worth $270 million, Ecuador announced a reduction in its order for the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano from 24 to 18 aircraft to release funds to buy some used South African Air Force Denel Cheetah C fighters. By cutting its order for the EMB-314 type, the Defence Ministry says the accrued savings would allow it to purchase the second-hand Cheetahs, and bolster the air force’s flagging air defence component.
The Embraer A-29 Super Tucano, also named ALX or EMB 314 , is a Brazilian turboprop light attack aircraft designed and built by Embraer as a development of the Embraer EMB 312 Tucano. The A-29 Super Tucano carries a wide variety of weapons, including precision-guided munitions, and was designed to be a low-cost system operated in low-threat environments. In addition to its manufacture in Brazil, Embraer has set up a production line in the United States in conjunction with Sierra Nevada Corporation for the A-29’s many export customers.