The U.S. Air Force (USAF) for a second time has selected the Embraer A-29 Super Tucano for its Light Air Support (LAS) requirement, according to Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the U.S. proponent. On Wednesday, SNC said that it has an initial $427 million order to supply 20 A-29s, which will be assembled in Jacksonville, Fla.
In December 2011, the USAF announced that it had selected the A-29 over the AT-6 offered by Hawker Beechcraft—now Beechcraft. The latter company appealed the contract award to the Government Accountability Office, then to the U.S. Court of Claims. The litigation caused the Air Force to issue a stop-work order on the contract.
“After a thorough rebidding process, the USAF again deemed the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, and the overall solution offered by SNC, to be the superior choice for this critical mission,” SNC said.
The A-29 will be used to provide light air support, reconnaissance and training capabilities to the Afghanistan military. “As such, it is a vital element of the United States’ Afghan withdrawal strategy and central to maintaining security in that region going forward,” SNC said.