June 23, 2014 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Forecast International; issued June 23, 2014)
Honduras Seeks Technical Agreement with Embraer for Fleet Modernization
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador --- Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández is hoping to sign a technical agreement with Brazilian manufacturer, Embraer. The agreement would cover the refurbishment and modernization of the Honduran Air Force's Super Tucano and F-5 aircraft.
The Honduran government will resume the repair project for the Air Force's EMB-312/A-27 Super Tucano and Cessna A-37B Dragonfly aircraft which was initiated by the previous administration of President Porfirio Lobo. President Hernández is also considering the possibility of acquiring new aircraft such as the Embraer EMB-314/A-29 Super Tucano.
The Air Force has been seeking to acquire a new batch of A-29s for quite some time. Unfortunately, funding was difficult to obtain and after much consideration, President Porfirio Lobo decided in February 2012 that priority would be given to repairing the Air Force's existing fleet of Embraer EMB-312 Tucanos rather than buying new Super Tucanos.
The Honduran MoD expected the upgrade to cost between $6 million and $10 million; only six aircraft would be involved in the program. Then in October 2013, the government determined that due to Honduras' poor financial situation, an upgrade could not be performed either.
The goal now is to modernize and repair 20 EMB-312s and acquire at least 4 new EMB-314s.
The technical agreement would involve the transfer of Honduras' F-5 to Brazil. The transfer would require U.S. approval, though. Honduras acquired 12 ex-USAF Northrop F-5E/Fs in 1987; only five of the remaining nine are operational. Taiwan, Brazil, and Israel are all interested in restoring the fleet.