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Ukraine shows interest in the Super Tucano

8th September 2020 - 13:30 GMT | by Michal Jarocki in Warsaw


Ukraine may cut its fleet of L-39 Albatros jet trainers in favour of more modern aircraft such as the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano

The Ukrainian Air Force regards the Albatros as an obsolete platform that lacks training capabilities for future pilots. Furthermore, servicing of these 60 aircraft might also prove to be a heavy burden on the future Ukrainian defence budget.

Should Ukraine decide to procure Super Tucano, it could use the aircraft both as a jet trainer and light attack aircraft. However, the latter option would require acquisition of a more advanced version of the aircraft, which would significantly boost procurement costs.

However, Super Tucano could prove itself to be an efficient deterrent against separatist forces occupying eastern regions of Ukraine. Therefore, it could also help Kiev to bridge current gaps in its aircraft inventory.

In August 2019 a delegation from the Ukrainian Air Force visited Brazil, where it was presented with the Super Tucano and its capabilities. During the visit the Ukrainian delegation also met Embraer representatives.

In its ‘Air Force Vision 2035’ document, published in May 2020, Ukraine stated its intention to procure an unspecified number of 4.5-generation multirole fighter aircraft. It may take time for Kiev to finalise the project due to limited procurement funds. Super Tucanos could therefore prove useful as an interim solution for homeland airspace defence.

Aero Vodochody, the Czech manufacturer of the L-39 Albatros, is preparing to enter the market with its newest L-39NG advanced jet trainer. 

Senegal will be the first operator of the L-39NG, as the country awaits delivery of four aircraft in light attack configuration.

Shephard Defence Insight notes a contract from the Czech Republic for six L-39NGs and interest from Cambodia in three or four aircraft. 

Michal Jarocki


Michal Jarocki

Michal Jarocki is a Shephard correspondent based in Warsaw, Poland. He is reporting on military …

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