First Four PAF a‑29 Super Tucano Aircraft Arrive in Philippines
The first four of the Philippine Air Force (PAF)’s six new Embraer A‑29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft arrived at Clark Air Base on Luzon Island in the Philippines on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.
Embraer company pilots flew the aircraft from the company airfield in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and made fueling stops in the Canary Islands, Portugal, Malta, Egypt, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), India, Thailand, and Vietnam before landing in the Philippines.
“The Philippine Embassy in Brasilia provided assistance in coordinating the ferry flight and other necessary arrangements with Embraer SA to ensure the timely delivery of the aircraft”, said a statement from the Republic of the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs .
The statement added that an official arrival ceremony is being organized for the new aircraft.
According to Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong, the two remaining aircraft are currently in New Delhi, India and awaiting clearance to depart to the Philippines. They are expected to arrive in the coming week.
The new aircraft will beef up the Air Force’s close-air support capabilities and complement, and eventually replace, the remaining North American Rockwell OV-10 “Bronco” attack aircraft used by the service in strike missions. The new aircraft is assigned to PAF’s 15th Strike Wing.
The Philippines ordered six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer (Empresa Brasiliera de Aeronáutica) in 2017 under the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (AFPMP). The contract for the six aircraft was worth PHP4.968 billion (~USD102 million).
The A‑29B Super Tucano aircraft is designed for light attack, close air support (CAS), counter-insurgency (COIN), and aerial reconnaissance missions in low threat environments. Additionally, the aircraft is designed to operate in high temperature and humidity conditions in extremely rugged terrain similar to the Philippines’ operational environment.