A-29 Supertucano de la Fuerza Aérea Colombiana durante F-Air 2008
02/02/11 By Stephen Trimble / Flight International
Embraer has announced it is teaming with Sierra Nevada to build the Super Tucano in Jacksonville, Florida, if the partners can win a US Air Force contract that is scheduled to be awarded in June. Sierra Nevada's role as the US-based prime contractor in Embraer's bid was revealed after both competitors - also including the Lockheed Martin/Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 - completed flight trials in the evaluation process for the light air support (LAS) contract. The programme will supply up to 20 aircraft to serve as counter-insurgency trainers and fighters for Afghan pilots. The USAF also plans to buy 15 aircraft to serve as trainers for its own pilots, who could then be assigned to foreign "partners" fighting insurgents or terrorists. Both competitors think the contract may ultimately be worth more than 35 aircraft, however.