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3 African Countries Purchase Super Tucanos

Mar. 28, 2012 - 01:26PM   |  
By ANDREW CHUTER   |   Comments
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LONDON — Embraer has confirmed it has sold A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to three African air forces in an announcement at the FIDAE 2012 aerospace and defense show underway at Santiago, Chile, this week.

The Brazilian aircraft maker said the turboprop-powered Super Tucanos were destined for Angola, Burkina Faso and Mauritania in deals that together are worth more than $180 million.

The contracts include extensive logistical, training and spare parts supply, Embraer said.

Three aircraft already have been delivered to Burkino Faso; six are destined for Angola, including three planned for delivery later this year.

The company did not disclose how many planes were destined for Mauritania.

Embraer said in a statement the aircraft would be used for border patrol or counterinsurgency tasks rather than as a training machine — the other role for which the A-29 is widely known.

Angola and Mauritania operate earlier versions of the aircraft. The Mauritanians received four refurbished ex-French Tucanos in 2010, one of which crashed and was written off last year.

Sales to all three nations were previously flagged by various specialist regional websites, but this is thought to be the first time the deals have been officially confirmed.

News of the orders comes just weeks after the U.S. Air Force canceled an order to buy 20 A-29s for the Afghan Air Force due to what it said were procedural problems with the contract.

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