The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


EMB-312H Super Tucano - Design

The Super Tucano's airframe was designed, both in its single- and twin-seater versions, with the latest generation technology and computer-aided tools that provide the aircraft with a potential service life of 18,000 hours for typical training missions,or 12,000 flying hours in operational environments, depending on mission loads and utilization. The airframe is designed to withstand +7G/-3.5G loads. The aircraft's structure is corrosion-protected and the side-hinged canopy has a windshield capable of withstanding a bird strike at 270 kts. The aircraft's cockpit environment has been enlarged to more comfortably accommodate male and female pilots and instrumentation has been designed to glass cockpit standards.

vThe aircraft is equipped with an advanced laser inertial navigation and attack system, a global positioning system (GPS) and a traffic alerting and collision avoidance system (TCAS). The EMB-314 Super Tucano is powered by a PT6A-68A turboprop engine, developing 969kW. The power plant is fitted with automatic engine monitoring and control. The ALX aircraft has a more powerful engine than the EMB-314. The ALX's Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-68/3 turboprop engine, rated at 1,600shp, drives a Hartzell five-bladed constant speed fully feathering reversible pitch propeller. The fuel capacity is 695l, which gives a range of over 1,500km and endurance of 6hrs 30mins. The aircraft has a cruising speed up to 530km/h with a maximum speed of 560km/h.

The Super Tucano incorporates features such as an environmental control system designed to maximize crew comfort and an On-Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS). Should the need arise, the Super Tucano is equipped with Martin-Baker MK-10lCX Ejection Seats incorporating a three-mode ejection sequential device. The Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68/3 turboprop engine that incorporates FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) and EICAS (Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System).

Although it is a high-performance turboprop, the Direct Operational Cost of the Super Tucano is kept within the same range as its predecessor. The aircraft owes this advantage to improved logistics coupled with enhanced systems reliability and an Integrated Data Acquisition and Recorder (IDAR) system that helps speed maintenance work, in addition to easy component accessibility and revised inspection tasks.

Keeping in mind that the Super Tucano's role will not be limited to training alone, Embraer has equipped the A-29 (the Super Tucano version for the Brazilian Air Force, with 99 orders) with systems designed not only to comply with basic requirements, but also to keep pace with the continual changes taking place in the aircraft's potential operating theaters. At the heart of the A-29's mission system are its two latest-generation MDPs (Mission & Display Processors), which receive and process data from sensors, navigation and attack variables and manage a multitude of other tasks such as HOTAS (Hands-On Throttle and Stick) operations, in addition to symbology generation and presentation for HUD and CMFDs.

Systems and equipment have been fully integrated on the aircraft:

  • Crew survivability is ensured through armor protection and state-of-the-art provisions such as MAWS (Missile Approach Warning System) and RWR (Radar Warning Receiver) in addition to chaff and flare dispensers. The communication and navigation system is similar to that of training applications, but features such as PR (Positioning Reporting) and ALE (Automatic Link Establishment) allow automatic transmission of aircraft position and flight data to ground bases. The aircraft is also equipped with an EGIR (Embedded GPS/INS & Radar Altimeter).
  • A two-axes military automatic pilot helps reduce pilot workload on long-endurance missions.
  • Tactical communications take place through a digital anti-interception and jamming V/UHF radio, which through a data-link modem is capable of transmitting frozen FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) images or positioning fixes to other aircraft. In the silent receiver mode, the system can pick up data from ground stations or AEW&C aircraft without revealing its position.
  • HUD (Head Up Display) with UFCP (Up Front Control Panel) and
  • FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) supplies digitized thermal imaging in two crew-selectable display modes, fully compatible with third-generation NVGs or better.

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.

The aircraft features two .50" machine guns (200 rounds each) in the wings. Five hard points under the wing and fuselage allow up to 1,500 kg of weapons for most configurations. The aircraft's inboard stations, as well as its ventral one, are "wet" for external fuel tanks. In addition to its two internal machine guns, the Super Tucano can be configured with additional underwing armament, such as two 20mm gun pods or .50" machine guns, thereby significantly increasing its firepower for missions requiring air-to-ground saturation. Outboard stations allow the loading and firing of short-range air-air missiles of the AIM-9 class. All stations can be loaded with the Mk 81 or Mk 82 (conventional or equipped with guidance kits) bombs, SBAT-70/19 or LAU-68 rocket launchers.

The all-glass cockpit is fully night vision goggle compatible. Brazilian AF ALX aircraft are equipped with avionics systems from Elbit Systems Ltd of Haifa, Israel, including a head-up display (HUD), advanced mission computer, navigation system and two 6in x 8in colour liquid crystal multi-function displays. "The pilot is protected with Kevlar armour." The head-up display with 24 field of view and the advanced weapon delivery system are integrated through a MIL-STD-1553B data bus. The pilot is provided with a handson throttle and stick (HOTAS) control. The pilot is protected with Kevlar armour and provided with a zero/zero ejection seat. The clamshell canopy, hinged at the front and rear and electrically activated, is fitted with a de-icing system and features a windshield capable of withstanding, at 300kt, the impact of a 4lb bird. A Northrop Grumman onboard oxygen generation system (OBOGS) is installed.

The aircraft is fitted with two central mission computers. The integrated weapon system includes software for weapon aiming, weapon management, mission planning and mission rehearsal. Onboard recording is used for post mission analysis. The aircraft has five hardpoints for carrying weapons, and is capable of carrying a maximum external load of 1,500kg. The aircraft is armed with two wing-mounted 12.7mm machine guns with a rate of fire of 1,100 rounds a minute and is capable of carrying general-purpose bombs and guided air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. Brazilian AF aircraft will be armed with the MAA-1 Piranha short-range infrared guided air-to-air missile from Orbita. The two seat AT-29 is fitted with a forward-looking infrared AN/AAQ-22 SAFIRE turret on the underside of the fuselage. The SAFIRE thermal imaging system supplied by FLIR Systems is for targeting, navigation and target tracking. The system allows the aircraft to carry out night surveillance and attack missions.

Join the mailing list

Page last modified: 11-09-2013 19:08:33 ZULU