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 before the end of July, Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said Thursday.
“The six ‘Super Tucanos’ are expected to be delivered on July 29, 2020,” Andolong said in a message.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic affected the delivery of the “Super Tucano” planes which was earlier scheduled for the end of February this year.
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 Air Force in strike missions.
“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,” he added.
It is a turboprop aircraft designed for light attack, counter-insurgency, close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions in low threat environments, as well as providing pilot training.
The contract for the six “Super Tucano” aircraft worth PHP4.968 billion was issued in late 2017. PNA.GOV.PH