On 13 October 2020, six A-29B Super Tucanos were turned over to the PAF. They were inducted with the 16th Attack Squadron, 15th Strike Wing.

With a series of major acquisitions announced, the Philippines is showing its efforts to become the leading air force in the region. Among these, it is worth mentioning the purchase package of 6 A-29B “Super Tucano”. In late 2017, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the contract for the acquisition of 6 Embraer Super Tucano to fulfill the Close Air Support Aircraft acquisition project as included in the AFP Modernization Program’s Horizon 1 phase.

On 13 October 2020, six A-29B Super Tucanos were turned over to the PAF. They were inducted with the 16th Attack Squadron, 15th Strike Wing. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana eyes acquisition of six more A-29B Super Tucano close-air support aircraft to boost the number on PAF inventory. By 2024 the airforce intends to operate 24 aircraft, which can equip two squadrons. 12 aircraft are to be delivered by 2022, and six by 2024. This will allow the airforce to use them in the close air support, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and light attack missions.

Philippine A-29B Super Tucano Squadron
Philippine A-29B Super Tucano Squadron

Most recently, the newly acquired Embraer A-29B “Super Tucano” squadron has officially moved to its new home at the Major Danilo Atienza Air Base in Sangley Point, Cavite City in October 2021. Four of the A-29B close-support attack aircraft arrived in the country on Sept. 19, 2020, while the remaining two arrived on October 1 of the same year.

The A-29s are an addition and will gradually replace the aging Philippine OV-10 Bronco. The attack aircraft are expected to beef up the Philippine Air Force. The A-29 Super Tucano is a durable, versatile and powerful turboprop aircraft capable of carrying out a wide range of missions, even operating from unimproved runways. To date, the Super Tucano was selected by 14 air forces worldwide.

The light attack aircraft was designed and built by Embraer as a development of the Embraer EMB 312 Tucano. The A-29 Super Tucano carries a wide variety of weapons, including precision-guided munitions, and was designed to be a low-cost system operated in low-threat environments.

In addition to its manufacture in Brazil, Embraer has set up a production line in the United States in conjunction with Sierra Nevada Corporation for the manufacture of A-29s to export customers.

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