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Monday, November 8, 2010

Dominican Republic Receives Super Tucanos

Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez on Oct. 29 accepted into inventory eight Embraer AT-29 Super Tucano trainer and light attack aircraft.

The initial aircraft were delivered in December 2009, and another batch arrived this year. The Dominican Republic air force notes that 10 pilots and 21 copilots already have been trained to operate the turboprop, with another eight pilots now in training.

The aircraft is expected to be used heavily in counter-drug operations, as well as in monitoring for illegal immigration. Maritime surveillance also is on the agenda.

Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador are also AT-29 operators. Embraer’s current backlog for the type should see production continue at least until mid-2011, although the company is exploring further deals to extend the line.

Embraer reports that in its third-quarter results, released Oct. 29, defense represented 13% of year-to-date net sales, or around $440 million. In the third quarter alone, eight Super Tucanos were delivered — two to Brazil, three to Ecuador, and the last three in the Dominican Republic’s buy.

The aircraft maker also notes that the second A-4 fighter to be modernized for the Brazilian navy is now at its Gaviao Peixoto facility, and that other programs, such as the A-1M AMX modernization and India’s airborne early warning effort, are progressing.

Source: Aviation Week
Photo: Embraer

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