Military

Embraer, Sierra Nevada Partner for US Air Force Experiment

By S.L. Fuller | May 15, 2017

Lebanese student conducts first ‘in seat’ A-29 flight

A Lebanese A-29 Super Tucano student pilot from the 81st Fighter Squadron, conducts the first ‘in-seat’ training sortie. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ceaira Young

Sierra Nevada Corp. and Embraer Defense & Security are set to participate in the U.S. Air Force’s Capability Assessment of Non-Developmental Light Attack Platforms, OA-X. Both companies, as partners, said they plan to respond to the invitation with the A-29 Super Tucano.

OA-X is part of an effort to study the benefits of acquiring a new, low-cost, non-developmental light attack aircraft for close air support and other missions in permissive and semi-permissive environments. The experiment would also explore reduced fighter-pilot training costs, accelerated pilot seasoning and extending the service lives of other jet fleets.

The A-29 is the only light air support aircraft in the world with a U.S. Air Force military type certificate. It is a turboprop capable of performing a range of fighter and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

"The A-29 is uniquely suited for training and seasoning fighter pilots," said Jackson Schneider, president and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. "This means more highly-trained pilots more quickly and less expensively, while allowing other platforms to do the work they do best."

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