The Mali Defence Ministry has signed a contract with Embraer Defense & Security to purchase six A-29 Super Tucano light attack and advanced training turboprops.

The Mali Air Force will use these new A-29 Super Tucanos for advanced training, border surveillance, and internal security missions.

Under this contract, Embraer is also responsible for delivering logistic support for the operation of these aircraft and provide a training system for pilots and mechanics of the Mali Air Force.

"The Mali Air Force will use the new A-29 Super Tucanos for advanced training, border surveillance, and internal security missions."

Embraer Defense & Security president and CEO Jackson Schneider said: "This is a robust and versatile airplane, with proven experience in combat and will fulfil with excellence the missions for which it was selected.

"We welcome Mali Air Force as a new operator of the Super Tucano and we are sure this new partnership will last for many years."

The A-29 Super Tucano Aircraft or Embraer EMB 314 is an enhanced version of the EMB-312 Tucano trainer aircraft, but can cruise at faster speed and higher altitude.

The aircraft is capable of carrying general-purpose bombs and guided air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. It is armed with two wing-mounted 12.7mm machine guns with a rate of fire of 1,100 rounds a minute.

With more than 130 weapons configurations certified, the aircraft features advanced electronic, electro-optic, infrared and laser system technologies, as well as secure radio systems with data links and unrivalled munitions capacity.

Recently, the US State Department approved a possible foreign military sale worth $462m to Lebanon for A-29 Super Tucano Aircraft and associated equipment, parts and logistical support.

Image: A Brazilian Air Force’s A-29 Super Tucano aircraft. Photo: courtesy of the Brazilian Air Force.