New PH attack planes move to Sangley air base
The six turboprop A29B Super Tucanos the country bought from Brazil last year has found a home at the Air Force’s Danilo Atienza Air Base in Sangley Point in Cavite City.
The fixed-wing light attack planes officially moved on Wednesday to the airbase named after Maj. Danilo Atienza died in preventing coup plotters from gaining air power during the infamous 1989 coup attempt.
The aircraft, made by Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica (Embraer SA), cost P4.97 billion and were delivered in September and October last year to replace the Air Force’s fleet of eight aging OV-10 Bronco turboprops.
Like the OV-10 Bronco, the Embraer A29B Super Tucano was also designed for light attack but has newer avionics and weapons systems and could be used for combat close air support, aerial reconnaissance operations, and pilot training.
The aircraft is currently being used by 13 air forces around the world, including that of the United States which uses it for special operations, particularly in Afghanistan.
In 2017, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the contract for the purchase of the six Super Tucanos as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ modernization program.
During the delivery of the Super Tucanos last year, Lorenzana said the military was considering acquiring another batch of A29Bs, 12 more in 2022 and another six turboprops later.
The new planes were commissioned in October to be part of the Air Force’s 15th Strike Wing, led by Brig. Gen. Aristotle Gonzalez.
On arrival at their new headquarters, the fleet, under 16th Attack Squadron commander Maj. Jonathan Barawed, performed a formation low pass before landing.
The aircraft were then given the traditional water cannon salute and were blessed.