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Philippines moves forward with Super Tucano procurement

16 October 2017

The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) has confirmed to Janes that it is close to signing a contract with Brazilian manufacturer Embraer to procure the EMB 314 Super Tucano trainer/light attack platform to meet a Philippine Air Force (PAF) requirement for close-air support (CAS) aircraft.The Philippines is close to signing a contract for the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, seen here in Afghan Air Force colours. (438th Air Expeditionary Wing, US Air Force/Staff Sgt Larry E Reid Jr)The Philippines is close to signing a contract for the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, seen here in Afghan Air Force colours. (438th Air Expeditionary Wing, US Air Force/Staff Sgt Larry E Reid Jr)

Arsenio Andolong, the DND’s chief of public affairs, said on 17 October that the “project is now undergoing the contract approval process”. He added that the contract, which is expected to be finalised before the end of the year, will feature the initial procurement of six aircraft for PHP4.96 billion (USD99 million) but that the PAF is expected to procure additional aircraft at a later date.

“According to the revised AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] modernisation programme, the PAF have programmed the procurement of additional attack aircraft,” he said.

A spokesperson from Embraer told Jane’s that the company is continuing negotiations with the DND. She also confirmed that an announcement by the company on 16 October for a “firm order” of six Super Tucano aircraft was not related to the Philippines’ CAS requirement.

It is possible that the customer in this announcement is Nigeria. The Nigerian Air Force announced its plan to acquire an unspecified number of Super Tucanos in June 2016, while in August 2017 the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that the State Department had approved the sale of 12 of the aircraft for USD593 million.

The Philippine DND selected the Super Tucano as lowest bidder in the CAS programme in June 2017. The tender, which was issued in December 2016, was the fourth to be launched by the DND in the past two years.

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