May 8, 2008:
Ecuador, in response to the March 1 attack by
Colombian troops on a FARC rebel base inside Ecuador, have ordered 24 Brazilian
Super Tucano warplanes, as well as a new radar system to give better warning of
Colombian helicopters or aircraft crossing the frontier. The Super Tucano is
a five ton, single engine, single seat
aircraft. It is basically a prop driven trainer that is equipped for combat
missions. The aircraft can carry up to 1.5 tons of weapons, including 12.7mm
machine-guns, bombs and missiles. The aircraft cruises at about 500 kilometers
an hour and can stay in the air for about 6.5 hours per sortie.
is already using Super Tucanos for counter-insurgency work The aircraft is also used for border patrol.
The Super Tucano costs $9 million each, and come in one or two seat versions.
The bubble canopy provides excellent visibility. This, coupled with its slow
speed (versus jets), makes it an excellent ground attack aircraft.