A-29 Super Tucano Reportedly Seen in Turkmenistan

Afghan A-29 seen arriving at Moody Air Force Base in 2014.  Source: U.S. Air Force

Turkmenistan has reportedly acquired the A-29 Super Tucano.

In state TV footage that emerged on June 13, 2019, Turkmenistan demonstrated what appeared to be the A-29 Super Tucano, a light attack aircraft made by Embraer, during President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s visit.

The aircraft was seen twice in state TV footage (starting at 13:50 and then again starting at 18:58).  It did not appear to be carrying any weapons on its hardpoints, though the Super Tucano can be equipped with armaments, including rockets and air-launched munitions.

The delivery was said to be recent.  Alongside the footage, Baku-based POLYGON online military magazine said that at least two aircraft had been delivered.

Details are not presently confirmed.  It was not possible to identify serial numbers or Turkmen Air Force markings on the aircraft from the footage.  Turkmenistan has previously hosted foreign aircraft for review as the country considered procurement.

The aircraft’s apparent presence in Turkmenistan – whether it was purchased or still being examined – demonstrates Ashgabat’s interest in the light attack aircraft market.  Its neighbor Afghanistan is putting the A-29 into service for use against militants, which may have sparked Turkmenistan’s attention.

While Turkmenistan itself does not face any domestic insurgent threat, the government is wary of militants in Afghanistan gaining a foothold along the shared border.  The Turkmen government in recent years has added a wide range of new equipment into service with the military.

 

About Derek Bisaccio

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

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