The U.S. Air Force has selected Sierra Nevada Corp. and Embraer to supply the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft that will be used as part of the U.S. government's partner-building efforts in Afghanistan and other nations. The A-29 Super Tucano will be used to conduct advanced flight training, aerial reconnaissance and light air support operations. (Embraer)
WASHINGTON — Embraer’s Jacksonville, Fla., facility will begin assembly of its A-29 Super Tucano light attack support aircraft in January, company officials said Monday.
The company announced that it remains on track to deliver Super Tucanos for the Afghan Air Force by mid-2014, a requirement of the light air support (LAS) contract it won this year.
The company’s 40,000-square-foot Jacksonville facility has begun filling critical positions, including the hire of Daniel Culleton as general manager. Culleton said Monday night that he expects staffing to continue at an accelerated pace.
While Embraer is looking for new customers for the A-29, Culleton said his focus is on getting the first batch of 20 planes for the LAS contract delivered, with an eye on an optional second batch of 20 that are included in the contract.
The fight over the LAS contract lasted years due to long-running legal battles between the Brazilian-based Embraer and the Kansas-based Beechcraft, whose AT-6 was the main competitor to the Super Tucano.