EMB 312 TucanoEMB-312 Tucano (Toucan in English) was developed by Embraer beginning in the late 1970s to replace Brazil's Air Force Cessna T-37 training aircraft. The Brazilian Air Force took delivery of the first production machine in 1983. Despite Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6A is the standard engine in production aircraft it can be powered by alternative powerplants according to end customer requirements. The basic EMB-312 Tucano aircraft entered into service in 1983 with more than 600 aircraft sold to at least 15 international customers.
EMB-312H Super Tucano was an evolution of EMB-312 aircraft with an stretched fuselage developed by Embraer. It was powered by more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6A-68 engine rated at 1,250-shp. Super Tucano was the aircraft defeated by Raytheon's T-6 during JPATS competition. ALX (Light Attack Aircraft) is a further evolution of Super Tucano featuring enhanced performance, zero-zero ejection seats, PT-6A-68/3 engine rated at 1,600-shp and onboard oxygen generation system (OBOGS).
EMB-312H Super Tucano and multi-purpose ALX are different aircraft but since 2003 Super Tucano designation applies to ALX. Actually Super Tucano is ALX designation for the export market. Single-engine Super Tucano/ALX suits training and light attack roles combining fourth generation avionics and armament systems while yielding jet-like performance. In addition to flight training, Super Tucano/ALX also offers in-flight virtual training for armaments and sensors.
Embraer' Super Tucano/ALX has five external underwing and fuselage stations carrying weaponry and fuel tanks. The armament options include unguided rockets, gun pods, air-to-air missiles, free fall bombs and smart munitions. Its design flexibility allows operations from unprepared runways, day or night. Single-seat A-29 Super Tucano designation refers to light attack variant while twin-seat AT-29 Super Tucano refers to the variant intended for both training and light attack roles.
Embraer is marketing Super Tucano/ALX on the international market to fill the gap of many low budget Air Forces which can not afford expensive jet aircraft. The aircraft is available for current Tucano operators to boost their fleets capabilities. To date, Super Tucano/ALX has been ordered by the Brazilian Air Force and the Dominican Republic. In August 2001 Brazil signed for 76 ALX Super Tucano aircraft plus 23 options with the first delivered in December 2003. Dominican Republic ordered 10 Super Tucanos in August 2001.
Embraer and the Government of Colombia on behalf of its Air Force signed a $235 million contract for the purchase of 25 Super Tucano aircraft on December 7, 2005. The Colombian Air Force was operating 14 Tucano basic training aircraft acquired in the 1990s. The newest Super Tucano aircraft were ordered to conduct internal and border security missions.
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