Ukraine Interested in Super Tucano

Afghan Air Force Super Tucano. Source: Nardisoero/Wikimedia Commons

The Ukrainian military is considering the procurement of EMB-314 Super Tucano light attack aircraft.

In a report on August 2, 2019, Infodefensa revealed that Gen.-Col. Sergii Drozdov, who commands the Ukrainian Air Force, took a test flight in Brazil on the EMB-314 Super Tucano. General-Colonel Drozdov and his delegation also met with representatives of Embraer Defense & Security to discuss the potential of the Ukrainian Air Force acquiring the aircraft.

Infodefensa released images of the Ukrainian officials in Brazil.

Further information – such as the number of aircraft under consideration – is not available. It is not clear whether Ukraine has examined other trainer or light attack aircraft on the international market.

The Super Tucano can be used for both the trainer role and as a light attack aircraft. While the aircraft would not be an effective deterrent against the Russian military, Ukraine may find the aircraft useful for patrolling separatist-controlled territory in its east. Infodefensa reported that aircraft could help the Ukrainian Air Force bridge gaps, given that available funding for new fighter jets is limited.

Many countries in Africa and the Middle East have begun procuring aircraft like the Super Tucano for use in counterinsurgency operations, taking advantage of their low operational cost. Along with Brazil, a number of countries utilize the Super Tucano, including Afghanistan, Angola, Chile, Colombia, Lebanon, and Mali, among others. If Ukraine buys the Super Tucano, it would become the first former Soviet state to acquire the aircraft.

Infodefensa noted that should Ukraine procure the Super Tucano, it would likely be able to integrate its own weapon systems onto the aircraft. This, the publication pointed out, would allow Ukraine’s defense industry to become a weapons supplier for Super Tucano users.

About Derek Bisaccio

Military markets analyst, covering Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa.

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