The Philippine Air Force (PAF)’s six new Embraer Defense and Security A-29 “Super Tucano” close-air support aircraft are expected to be delivered on July 29, 2020. They are a welcome and much-needed replacement for the PAF’s aged, close air support aircraft, and their mission versatility and capability to carry a variety of ordnance will be very useful in the field, the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said Thursday. The aircraft, which will be part of the PAF’s 15th Strike Wing, will beef up the remaining North American Rockwell OV-10 “Bronco” attack aircraft used by the Philippine Air Force Air Force in strike missions.
In June 2012, the Philippine Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was said to be looking for a “government-to-government” procurement deal with Brazil to acquire the Super Tucanos. On 20 June 2012, the Department of National Defense reported that a total of six Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucanos will be acquired for PhP4.968 billion. In October 2017, the Department of National Defense announced it was close to signing a contract with Embraer for six Super Tucano aircraft with options for more. On 1 December 2017, Embraer announced a firm order for six A-29 Super Tucano light attack and training aircraft from the Philippines Air Force
The Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, also named or A-29B, 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 manufacture of A-29’s to many export customers. The A-29 Super Tucano has been selected by 15 air forces worldwide.
The aircraft is fitted with two central mission computers. The integrated weapon system includes software for weapon aiming, weapon management, mission planning and mission rehearsal. Onboard recording is used for post mission analysis. There are five hardpoints for carrying weapons, and the aircraft is capable of holding a maximum external load of 1,500kg. The aircraft is armed with two wing-mounted 12.7mm machine guns with a rate of fire of 1,100 rounds a minute and is capable of carrying general-purpose bombs and guided air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. Brazilian AF aircraft are armed with the MAA-1 Piranha short-range infrared guided air-to-air missile from Orbita.