The Super Tucano had already been selected in a December 2011 contract, which was subsequently cancelled. In both cases, the losing bidder for the contract was Hawker Beechcraft. The sale is the first ever for Embraer from the United States armed forces.
The contract for 20 aircraft, maintenance and other services is worth $427 million. The aircraft will be build in Jacksonville, Florida and will be used for advanced flight training, aerial reconnaissance and light air support operations.
The objective of the LAS program is to find a non-developmental solution that provides the versatility, engagement, and persistence that is needed in a counterinsurgency environment and at a significantly lower cost than fighter jets.
The aircraft of the LAS program:
- must offer intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities
- deliver a wide variety of munitions (including precision guided weapons)
- operate in extremely rugged terrain and austere conditions