‘Super Tucano’ aircraft fleet now in Sangley airbase

‘Super Tucano’ aircraft fleet now in Sangley airbase

MANILA – The Philippine Air Force (PAF)’s fleet of newly-acquired Embraer A-29B “Super Tucano” aircraft officially transferred to its new home at the Major Danilo Atienza Air Base (MDAAB) in Sangley Point, Cavite City on Wednesday.

“The fleet of A-29B ST (Super Tucano) commanded by Maj. Jonathan C. Barawed, Squadron Commander, 16th Attack Squadron, took off from Clark Air Base and performed formation low pass before making their first landing at MDAAB. After landing, the aircraft were rendered the traditional water cannon salute and were blessed by Maj. Edison M. Lotilla, CHS (Chaplain Service). It was followed by the ceremonial champagne pouring to mark both the joy and sanctity of the occasion,” the PAF’s 15th Strike Wing said in a Facebook post on Wednesday night.

It added that 15th Strike Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Aristotle D. Gonzalez, and other ranking officials of the unit, welcomed the pilots and the five A-29B aircraft.

“This very significant event culminates years of hard work and a realization of a dream for the 15th Strike Wing to acquire a modern and more capable fixed-wing platform that will continue to enable the AFP to deliver the much-needed firepower against all forms of enemies who intend to distort peace in our country,” Gonzalez said.

Four of the A-29B close-support attack aircraft arrived in the country on Sept. 19, 2020, while the remaining two arrived on October 1 of the same year.

One of the aircraft is still undergoing repairs following a mishap in July this year.

Embraer 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, India, Thailand, and Vietnam before landing in the Philippines.

The A-29B aircraft were earlier scheduled to be delivered by the end of July last year but the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent travel bans skewed the delivery timetables.

The “Super Tucano” is a turboprop aircraft designed for light attack, counter-insurgency, close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions in low threat environments, as well as providing pilot training.

The contract for the aircraft is worth PHP4.97 billion and was issued in late 2017. (PNA)

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