Turkmenistan appears to be new Super Tucano customer

Some recent images suggest that Turkmenistan's first aircraft are on delivery.

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

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer appears to have recently delivered two Super Tucano trainer/light attack aircraft, registration numbers PT-ZHI and PT-ZHJ, to Turkmenistan, according to Airway website.

Last Thursday the two planes were spotted in the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, Brazil, where they made a stopover before continuing their journey to Cape Verde and Gran Canaria, Spain. They are equipped with external fuel tanks and have covered identification codes. According to the Brazilian aviation register, both planes were manufactured in 2020.

The route, the color scheme and the hidden codes (probably due to international law banning the sale of weapons to countries with internal repression, such as Turkmenistan), suggest that this could be a first delivery flight of 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

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