See the attack copter US wants to sell to Nigeria

See the attack copter US wants to sell to Nigeria

Friday, May 6, 2016 12:13 pm

The A-29 Super Tucano

The A-29 Super Tucano

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking to approve the sale of up to 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to Nigeria to help its fight against Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group that has pledged loyalty to Islamic State.

Here are some facts about the aircraft:

An agile, propeller-driven plane, the Super Tucano is in wide use in Africa, Latin America and elsewhere.

The plane is manufactured by Embraer S.A., a Brazilian aerospace conglomerate. A second production line is in Florida, in a partnership between the privately-held, U.S.-based Sierra Nevada Corp. of Sparks, Nev., and Embraer.

The A-29 Super Tucano enlarged

The A-29 Super Tucano enlarged

More than 200 Super Tucanos are operated by 10 nations, according to Embraer. The plane is used for training and security, surveillance, reconnaissance and counter-insurgency missions.

The plane can carry a wide array of armaments, including precision-guided munitions, is equipped with advanced avionics, communications and sensors and can operate from remote, unpaved airstrips.

It has a maximum speed of 590 km per hour (367 mph) and a flight ceiling of 35,000 feet (6.6 miles).

The cockpit of the A-29 Super Tucano

The cockpit of the A-29 Super Tucano

Militaries in Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia and Mauritania fly the Super Tucano. Guatemala, Senegal, Ghana, Mali and Lebanon have ordered the aircraft, according to Embraer.

The first four of 20 aircraft destined for Afghanistan was delivered in 2016.

Colombia has used the aircraft in its long war against leftist FARC rebels.

A Super Tucano operated by the Indonesian Air Force crashed on the island of Java on Feb. 10, killing two crew members and two civilians. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The Super Tucano costs more than $10 million each and the price can go much higher depending on the configuration. It is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT 6 engine. Embraer declined comment on the unit

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One Comment

  • Ikenna Ezea says:

    Dear columnist, I would like to correct 2 terrible errors in your post
    1) “See the attack copter US wants to sell to Nigeria” Please note that the Tucano is an attack airplane not attack copter. “Copter” is short for helicopter, a rotary wing aircraft. The Tucano is a fixed wing aircraft.
    2)The second picture in your post is not a Tucano, that is a PC-7, manufactured in Switzerland by Pilatus Aircraft.

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