11 November 2010
EMB-314 Super Tucano (photo : PatriksAviation)
Indonesia plans to buy eight Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano light attack turboprops, and could eventually double its order - the first for the Brazilian type in the Asia-Pacific region.
"Air force headquarters has decided to replace our Rockwell OV-10 Broncos with as many as 16 Super Tucanos," says Indonesian air force operational commander Yushan Sayuti, according to a report by the country's official Antara news agency.
The first Super Tucanos will arrive in 2012 under the initial order, which also includes ground-support stations and a logistics package. Several other types were considered for the requirement, such as the Korea Aerospace Industries KT-1. Eleven of these are in air force service as trainers, says Flightglobal's MiliCAS database.
"The Super Tucano has been chosen to replace the Broncos because of its flexibility to perform a broad range of missions, including light attack, surveillance, air-to-air interception and counter insurgency," says Embraer.
MiliCAS lists Indonesia's active OV-10 fleet at just two aircraft.
The EMB-314 can operate from unpaved runways with a variety of armaments, including its two wing-housed 12.7mm machine guns. Other weapons can include conventional and laser-guided bombs, plus rocket pods and air-to-air missiles. The aircraft also carries an electro-optical/infrared sensor, laser designator and secure radios with datalinks.
The type can also be used as a trainer, thanks to its advanced avionics fit, and its low-speed performance means it can also perform surveillance tasks.
The counter-insurgency mission is important to Indonesia, which at various times in its 60-year history has contended with rebel movements in outlying provinces.
Broncos provided air support during Indonesia's invasion of East Timor in 1975, and were used extensively against Timorese rebels in the 1970s and 1990s prior to Timor Leste's independence in 2002.
In addition, a simmering independence struggle in the country's West Papua province sometimes erupts into fighting.
The Super Tucano is operated by the air forces of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador, with the type having now logged over 100,000 flight hourse.