In the last few weeks the Embraer KC-390 jet tanker/transport program has gained four international partners, who have expressed their intentions to purchase the aircraft and to participate in its development and manufacture. Following the announcement at Farnborough in July that the Brazilian air force would initially acquire 28 KC-390s, the latest announcements raise prospective sales to 54.
Brazilian Air Force
During the Farnborough airshow in late July, the Brazilian air force announced its intention to acquire 28 Embraer KC-390 twinjet tanker/transports. First flight is expected in 2014, with service entry planned before the end of 2015.
Embraer expects its revenues from the defense sector to grow by almost a third this year, reaching approximately $650 million compared with $500 million in 2009. Its military backlog going into 2010 stood at $3.2 billion and could increase if Indonesia’s defense minister signs off on a deal for eight EMB 314 Super Tucano trainer/light attack aircraft.
Brazil’s purchase of 36 new fighters has pitted the air force’s preference for the Saab Gripen, backed by a 10-month technical report, against a presidential preference for the Dassault Rafale as part of a “strategic alliance” with France. Second in the air force’s ranking was the Boeing F-18 Super Hornet. According to the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, France reduced the cost of the Rafale package from $12.2 billion to $8.2 billion.
A top-level handshake in Brazil earlier this month does not necessarily mean the end of that country’s long quest to select a new fighter. Presidents Lula and Sarkozy proclaimed a strategic aerospace partnership after the French leader made a two-day state visit to Brazil.
While much of the world struggles in the grip of a financial crisis, the economies in Latin America–and Brazil in particular–appear stable and even growing.
Embraer has expanded on its North American Phenom 100 support system, in service since last December. The Customer Support Contact Center, located at Embraer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil, now offers operational, technical and maintenance support for all of Embraer’s executive jets.
In September 2006, days after an ExcelAire Services Embraer Legacy 600 and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 collided over the Amazon jungle in Brazil, an international group of flight safety organizations passed a resolution declaring that “the paramount consideration in an aviation accident investigation should be to determine the probable cause of and contributing factors in the accident, not to criminally punish flight crews, maintenance employee
Embraer has received a $1.3 billion contract to design and deliver a new military transport, called the KC-390. The Brazilian air force set the requirements and expects the aircraft to enter service in 2015, with the delivery of two prototypes.
The new tactical transport jet that has been under development in Brazil for the past two years was formally launched this month. Embraer signed a contract with the Brazilian Air Force on April 14 for the KC-390 at the Latin America Aero and Defence Show. As the revised designation now suggests, the aircraft can also act as a refueler, either in the air or on the ground.