After repeated delays including a contract cancellation, the first four out of 20 Embraer/Sierra Nevada Corporation A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft slated for service in the Afghan Air Force (AAF) arrived on January 15 at Hamid Karzai International Airport, IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly reports.
The AAF is expecting an additional delivery of four more A-29 Super Tucano by the 2016 fighting season, with an additional four delivered in 2017. The remaining eight will be handed over to the AAF by the end of 2018.
“The A-29 light attack aircraft is a versatile aircraft that brings a number of critical capabilities to the AAF. These include close air support, armed escort, and armed overwatch,” according to NATO’s ‘Resolute Support’ Mission spokesperson, Colonel Michael T. Lawhorn.
The four aircraft will become operational within the next couple of days and will, in all likelihood, be deployed to support combat operations in the eastern province of Nangarhar and the southern province of Helmand, according to Afghanistan’s acting Defense Minister, Masoom Stanikzai.
The United States Air Force (USAF), responsible for the training of Afghan pilots, allocated $427 million for the A-29 Super Tucano planes under the USAF’s Light Air Support program. One hour of flying time usually only costs $1,000, a big cost advantage for the cash-strapped AAF.
The A29 Super Tucano is a turboprop aircraft specifically designed for counter-insurgency operations and can be equipped with a wide array of bombs (including precision guided munitions) and machine guns. According to Jane’s Defense Weekly:
>The A29 features two internally mounted .50 cal machine guns (one in each wing), and has five hardpoints under the wing and a fuselage that can carry up to 1,500 kg of additional weapons. These can include .50 cal or 20 mm gun pods, rocket pods, short-range air-air missiles of the AIM-9X class, and conventional or smart freefall bombs. The aircraft’s inboard stations, as well as its ventral one, are also ‘wet’-configured for underwing fuel tanks.
According to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, the four A-29 delivered on January 15 will be all capable of dropping laser-guided bombs.
Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer and its U.S. partner Sierra Nevada Corporation where initially awarded the contract to supply 20 A-29 light attack aircraft in 2011. However, the contract was cancelled in 2012 due to a dissatisfaction of USAF leadership “with the quality of the documentation supporting the award decision.” However, the contract was re-awarded to Embraer and Sierra Nevada Corporation in 2013.
“In hindsight, I wish we would’ve started that years ago,” the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, General John F. Campbell said in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee in March 2015, yet “we are where we are. (…) Quite frankly, we can’t get it out there quick enough for them.”
The first eight Afghan A-29 Tucano pilots graduated in December 2015 from flight school in the United States. Up to 30 Afghan pilots will be trained by the USAF over the next three years. The training program has been suffering from occasional desertion of AAF personnel. Most recently, two AAF members from a maintenance crew undergoing training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia went missing in December 2015.
How are props a good idea for the war in Afghanistan
AA is a dime a dozen over there and I doubt there's a toyota ute over there without some sort of AA on the back. Those planes will make nice slow targets
Not only that how are they going to escape in time when they get locked on and they've already dumped all their flares or something?
This shit should only work in Africa
>Not only that how are they going to escape in time when they get locked on and they've already dumped all their flares or something?
Leave before they run out of flares?
Also, while heavy machine guns are dangerous for light aircraft, bombs still fall down while landing hits on aircraft flying at high altitude is harder.
>Part of the reason they don't is parts procurement. Wherever they get their planes they're also going to need spare parts. Not easy if the plane is long out of production
Oh yes it is. I can make a phone call and have any c-47, b-25, HU-16, t-6, t-28, L-5 part delivered within a week.
If a helicopter can hold it's own, a propeller plane can too. You know we used Skyraiders and the like in Vietnam, right? And that we use Predators in all of these modern theaters? Dunno if you realize, but both have propellers.
Cost, fuel efficiency/endurance.
>insurgents shooting anything down above arms reach
Not fucking likely. Could still happen if you fly low past a technical, which has a capable/lucky gunner.
A super tucano literally has nothing to fear from small arms fire.
It's totally protected against small arms and way too fast and high to hit. The only thing that could touch it would be some kind of technical, or AAA of any description.
I think you meant out of range of eyeballs/bullets period.
>A super tucano literally has nothing to fear from small arms fire.
There is no record of any Emb 312, or 314s being shot down by any rebel group, cartel, or insurgents.
Just crashes and a lot of bullshit.
show me the proofs
If I had to guess, I'd say they probably snapped out of it and realized that commonality with the Beechcraft/Pilatus Texan II trainers makes more sense than bringing an entirely different airframe into service.
i dont know why we cant just bring back some ww2 propeller planes to deal with insurgencies. upgrade the gun capacities and get to work.
inb4 shot down by pkm.
>Leave before they run out of flares?
Yeah because that's always possible
>comparing a pred's operational alt to a CAS prop pushed aircraft
Dunno if you realize the altitudes at which these aircraft are designed to work their targets from
I've always been fond of the Super Tucano. It's such an elegantly simple idea that seems like it could have a lot of success when deployed into the proper environment, I.e. Low intensity COIN operations where AA capabilities are very light. In that situation something like an F-15 or even an A-10 is ludicrous overkill in terms of cost/benefit.
I think upgraded Broncos would be great for modern CAS to compete with planes like the Tucano, plus it's a lot more versatile, with cargo and troop carrying capabilities, STOL and the redundancy of two engines.
>I think upgraded Broncos would be great for modern CAS to compete with planes like the Tucano
I think you mean COIN. CAS isn't limited to low and slow, for one. Any conflict that needs real CAS also means having to dodge AAA and SAMs, and carry a lot more payload to those who need it way faster than props can provide.
Because radials are fucking cooler
I'm lined with Kevlar!
Bring back the best buddies of cute COIN.
Piston engines (diesels in particular) have lower BSFC than turboprops. That's why the MQ-1C can loiter so much longer than the Reaper, despite carrying less fuel.
Both would most likely operate from 10-20,000 ft AGL in a modern setting. A manned light attacker would also be more suited for deploying cheaper unguided munitions from lower altitudes, environment permitting.
>Dude, it's Brazilian, i bet even .22 could bring it down.
In Brazil criminals have 12,7mm guns.
you bet your white cracka ass it can take lots of fire, and wont come down for small arms fire unless the pilot is a raging suicidal idiot
Hey guys, would this work?
A propeller assisted ramjet fighter?
Ramjet requires speeds where that plane would be in tatters. Needs to be about 20x more aerodynamic. Even then the prop will produce so much drag it would probably just break off. Besides, why the fuck would you want a ramjet fighter for CAS? The idea is low and slow to be able to pick targets. Ramjet is the exact opposite.
Both Russia and the US after WW2 had experimental prop + jet aircraft. Both countries deemed them useless, having favorable characteristics of neither.
It doesn't matter the size of the ramjet, what matters is the speed required for the thing. The speed required for ramjets to operate . They are wildly inefficient (next to no thrust) until 1000 km/h, or 620 mph. The P-51's design could not reach 1000km/h, and I mean structurally the thing broke apart before that speed. So the engine begins to produce thrust at that speed, where the plane actually structurally falls apart.
I have, and all of those were bombers. Not fighters.
Shitty design, 1/10 would not fly.
>They took a weapon that was outdated in WW2, and downgraded it to a mere TWO guns?
Lookit this guy, he thinks the .50 cal is outdated.
There's a reason why Ma Deuce is still in service EVERYWHERE. Some designs are just that good.
Ok let's say the mustang goes top speed, and switches on a single turbine.
The turbine would be the obviously mspaint lines on this pic.
Would that turbine be enough to make it worthwhile?
>Hey guys, would this work?
>A propeller assisted ramjet fighter?
Besides, they already had a better idea, the Napier Nomad. And even the Nomad could not even begin to compete with a turboprop.
Jet engines rule the skies because they're just that good.
No, because top speed for the P-51 was ~700km/h, and that's for the late models. The speed REQUIRED for a ramjet is 1000km/h. Like I said, at that speed the P51 is literally falling apart. As in wings ripping off.
Post war Turbo-Compounds put up some damn impressive SFC numbers, but still came with piston engine limitations like limited power to weight ratio and low reliability compared to turboprops.
It's just a shame that the US never massed produced 10,000+ HP turboprops like the Soviets did. Northrop in particular was leading this charge until the US government screwed them over and disseminated their designs and patents to their competitors at GE and P&W.
Also I think I probably speak for everyone
when I say that I'd love to see the performance improvements of WW2 fighters having their pistons replaced with turbines. Reno racer like speeds, without all the crazy modifications negating their use as combat aircraft.
Only real disadvantage would be the SFC, so more internal fuel would need to be carried (depending on mission), but the extra HP would handle that just fine and not require drag inducing external tanks.
>Post war Turbo-Compounds put up some damn impressive SFC numbers, but still came with piston engine limitations like limited power to weight ratio and low reliability compared to turboprops.
Greatest piston engine power plant ever built, pic related.