AFSOC Buying Third A-29 for Foreign Training

Air Force Special Operations Command is ordering a third A-29 Super Tucano to train foreign troops, aircraft manufacturer Sierra Nevada Corp. said May 11.

The A-29 is one of two light attack platforms the Air Force bought for limited use after declining to turn the light attack experiment into a full-fledged procurement program. Super Tucanos are used for AFSOC’s combat aviation advisory mission, and Textron Aviation’s AT-6 is proving out the Airborne Extensible Relay Over-Horizon Network (AEROnet), the service’s prototype data-sharing network.

Earlier this year, Sierra Nevada received a contract worth up to approximately $129 million for two A-29s. The company said a third plane will be delivered without additional funding under the same contract, which also covers ground support equipment, pilot training, logistics support, spare parts, and aircraft sustainment.

“Production of the first two A-29s under this contract is currently underway in Jacksonville, Fla., with planned delivery of the three aircraft in 2021,” the company said. “Training and support activities continue through 2024.”

SNC offers the Super Tucano with Embraer Defense and Security. Fifteen foreign countries fly the A-29 for close air support and reconnaissance missions.