The Malian Air Force formally inducted four Embraer EMB 314/A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft into service during a ceremony attended by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, it was announced on 11 July.
Embraer announced in July 2015 that Mali had ordered six Super Tucanos, but a Brazilian source subsequently told Jane’s that delays were experienced due to financial issues and the order was reduced to four aircraft. The Malian presidency said the aircraft were entirely funded by the country.
The training syllabus was also delayed by difficulties in finding pilots for conversion training on the type, according to the Brazilian source. Photographs released by the presidency showed at least nine Malian Air Force personnel in anti- g flight suits standing in front of the four aircraft at Air Base 101, which is next to Bamako’s international airport.
The Super Tucanos delivered to Mali are armed with 12.7 mm machine guns and can carry 70 mm rocket pods and 250 kg bombs. The presidency indicated that Mali has also acquired 20 mm cannon pods for the aircraft.
With this delivery, Mali joins Angola, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania as African operators of the Super Tucano.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihs.com/contact