With the aim of advancing in the modernization of its Embraer Super Tucano attack aircraft, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) begins to define the details for the modernization of 68 units of the A-29A/B, according to an agreement announced between the force and the Brazilian company Embraer during the 54th Paris International Air Show in 2023.

Currently, the FAB has a fleet of 60 A-29 aircraft operating in five different squadrons, totaling more than 325,000 flight hours. With over 260 units delivered worldwide, the aircraft has been selected by more than 15 air forces, including the United States Air Force (USAF).

The studied modernization of the Super Tucano aims at the incorporation of new fifth-generation combat technologies, which will allow increased operational flexibility according to the assigned mission. In particular, the A-29s assigned to the squadrons of the 3rd Aviation Group will receive a superior upgrade package, while the Super Tucanos assigned to pilot training missions will undergo a simpler modernization.

Specifically, the incorporation of a high-speed data link communication system, new digital front display, improvement in ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) capability, new guided weaponry, integration of Helmet Mounted Display (HMD), among other systems, is expected. Regarding the new weaponry, it is worth noting that during FIDAE 2018, the Israeli company Rafael presented the possibility of integrating electro-optical/GPS-guided bombs Spice 250 and the laser designator pod Litening III.

With the arrival of the F-39 Gripen, the FAB’s effort in pilot training contemplates that the modernized Super Tucanos will ease the transition to the new fighter, highlighting the adaptation of a cockpit similar to what is seen in the Super Tucano fleet in Chile and Ecuador, allowing simulation of radar usage, electronic warfare systems, the use of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, among other functionalities.

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