Embraer delivers first A-29 to US Air Force

An Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack and advanced trainer aircraft exhibited at the Air and Space Fair in Santiago on March 25, 2014 (AFP Photo/Martin Bernetti)

Miami (AFP) - Brazilian aviation firm Embraer said Thursday that it had delivered the first of 20 light-attack aircraft to the US Air Force, for use in Afghanistan after the NATO troop withdrawal.

The A-29 Super Tucano was presented at a ceremony in Jacksonville, Florida where Embraer and its US-based partner Sierra Nevada Corporation are building the aircraft.

The $427 million contract to build the 20 Super Tucanos, a turboprop craft for light missions and pilot training, was announced in February 2013.

The awarding of the contract to Embraer provoked a challenge early on from US aviation firm Beechcraft, which alleged irregularities in the bidding process.

"The Super Tucano is a robust and powerful turboprop aircraft capable of carrying out a wide range of missions and, in more than 10 years of operations, it has confirmed to be a cost-effective airpower solution for nations around the world," said Jackson Schneider, president and CEO of Embraer's defense division.

The A-29 is currently in use by nine countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, according to Embraer, which said it had delivered 170 of the 210 ordered so far.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting