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Guatemala orders planes for forest surveillance

April 11, 2013 at 3:35 PM

SAO PAULO, April 11 (UPI) -- An airborne surveillance and protection system for Guatemala's Maya Biosphere Reserve is being supplied by Brazil's Embraer Defense & Security.

The Maya Biosphere Reserve is the largest tropical forest area in Central America.

The system to be supplied by Embraer is comprised of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, a command-and-control system and three 3D radar systems.

Embraer will also provide logistical support and training for Guatemalan pilots and mechanics.

"The surveillance system for the Maya Biosphere will allow Guatemalan authorities to identify and combat points of deforestation, forest fires, illegal occupation, and illicit economic activities, like the illegal extraction of natural resources, in an area of more than 21,000 square kilometers (about 8,200 square miles)," Embraer said. "With this order, Guatemala becomes the sixth operator of the Super Tucano in Latin America, along with Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic."

The Super Tucano is a turbo-powered plane used for light attack combat missions, surveillance, aerial interception, and counter-insurgency.

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