Philippine Air Force to buy Brazilian attack planes

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 02 2017 12:17 AM | Updated as of Dec 02 2017 06:15 AM

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The Philippine military, which is battling both pro-Islamic State militants and communist guerrillas, is acquiring six Brazilian-made A-29 planes for close air support, authorities said.

Embraer Defense was declared the winning bidder to supply the six propeller-driven planes for $98.5 million, the Philippine Department of National Defense said.

"They are intended to be the primary close air support aircraft of the PAF (Philippine Air Force)," the department said.

Embraer said in a separate statement that it had received a firm order for "six A-29 Super Tucano light attack and advanced training aircraft", following a public bidding and stringent evaluation process.

Philippine Air Force to buy Brazilian attack planes 1
The Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, or A-29. Embraer Defense handout image

Delivery of the aircraft will begin in 2019, the department and Embraer said.

The government did not say where the aircraft will be deployed but the poorly-equipped Philippine military has long been seeking new attack planes to deal with Islamist extremists in the south and communist rebels in rural areas of the country.

The Philippine Air Force currently relies on US surplus OV-10 planes for its bombing attacks against insurgents. 

These Vietnam-war vintage planes saw action during the fighting from May to October against IS followers who were ravaging parts of the southern Philippine city of Marawi.