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The Embraer Super Tucano is tough enough to support operations from unprepared runways and in temperatures of 36C and 100% humidity. Flying independently of ground support, it can take off from short and narrow runways to provide support to ground forces. The aircraft integrates a fourth-generation cockpit with some of the most modern technology including datalink, 'hands on throttle and stick' (HOTAS) controls, a head-up display, and night and thermal vision sensors. The crew can deliver up to 1,500kg of conventional and guided weaponry and are provided with ballistic protection. Most other aircraft in its class were developed as advanced trainers before being converted for combat missions. The origins of the single-turboprop EMB-314 Super Tucano are as a robust attack aircraft capable of performing highly varied types of missions, sustaining weeks of continuous operation with high availability. It is almost completely redesigned compared to its predecessor, the EMB-312 Tucano. The two 0.5-in (12.7-mm) machine guns installed in the wings are complemented by a variety of 130 types of armament carried on five external points under the wings and fuselage. With more than 250 examples produced, the Super Tucano performs missions including armed reconnaissance, escort, counterinsurgency and even air defense. It is used by Brazil and 11 other countries and is manufactured under licence in the United States. Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Mauritania have all made operational use of the Super Tucano. The US may become the next operator of the turboprop, with a requirement for as many as 300 new light close air support aircraft.
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