Turkmenistan appears to be close to buy Super Tucano

Some facts also suggest that the agreement between Embraer and Ashgabat has already been finalized.

Turkmenistan buy Super Tucano
Embraer Super Tucano during its route to Turkmenistan.

In recent days, the Brazilian website Airway posted about the journey by two EMB-314B (A-29B) Super Tucano turboprop aircraft with registration numbers PT-ZHI and PT-ZHJ to Turkmenistan.

Last Thursday the two planes made a stopover in the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil, to then take off the following day towards Cape Verde. They are equipped with external fuel tanks and have their military identifications covered. According to the Brazilian Aircraft Registry, both A-29s were manufactured in 2020.

The manufacturing date and the hidden codes to satisfy Turkmenistan's high confidentiality - it suffers from international law which prohibits the sale of arms to countries with internal repression - suggest that it may be a delivery flight for the first new aircraft ordered from Ashgabat.

Rumors say that Embraer has been in talks with the Turkmen government since 2019 to close a deal including six light attack/trainer aircraft. Both parties, however, denied the fact.

On June 13, 2019, Turkmenistan State TV broadcast images of a Super Tucan flying over a Turkmen Air Force base. The aircraft was identified with the PT-ZTU number which is that of the Embraer demo aircraft, but the Brazilian manufacturer did not confirm the visit.

The Turkmen Air Force is currently undergoing a major reorganization of its fleet, it is also looking at a new cargo plane to replace the old An-26 and An-74 aircraft.

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Written by Matteo Sanzani
Photo Credit: Airway