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...Is this the New Counter-Insurgency Aircraft?

Iraqi-Tucano.jpg

And to follow up from yesterday's story on Military.com, it turns out the U.S. has also expressed some interest in odering some Tucanos.

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer is participating in preliminary negotiations to sell the U.S. government eight 314-B1 Super Tucano light attack and training planes for use in Iraq, the company said June 2.

The plane maker is offering Washington the Super Tucano in a tender process opened by the U.S. government, according to an Embraer spokesman who declined to be named in keeping with company policy.

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Brazilian law prohibits a private company from selling arms for use in existing conflicts, but the spokesman said the plane was not shipped with any armaments and was intended for training purposes in the U.S.

If the U.S. government decides to buy the Tucano from Embraer and requests that they be outfitted with weapons, at that point the Brazilian government would have to step in and negotiate the sale, the Embraer spokesman said.

And I posed the question to our boy Steve Trimble who's an oft contributor to DT and he had this to say:

This appears to be the long-awaited purchase of Super Tucanos by the USAF on behalf of the Iraqi Air Force. Im not sure what preliminary negotiations means. There were three or four other candidates for the order, and they may still be in the running. Its possible that the USAF remains in preliminary negotiations with all of the possible bidders, which include the Hawker Beechcraft T-6, the Pilatus PC-9 and perhaps the Korea Aerospace KT-1 Wong Bee. (The T-6 and PC-9, by the way, are essentially the same aircraft.) As far as I know, the USAFs senior leadership remain adamantly opposed to buying such an aircraft for its own purposes, preferring to employ the unmanned MQ-9 Reaper and the A-10 for the same basic mission.

I'll try to ping my sources in the FMS office in Iraq to see what the deal is...More to follow.

[Photo: totally Photoshopped]

-- Christian

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