Embraer’s Multinational KC-390 Tactical Air Transport Program
October 25/18: Certification Embraer’s KC-390 is now officially certified by the Brazilian aviation authority, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil. This marks a major milestone in the program. Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, president and chief executive of Embraer notes “the certification of KC-390, the largest and most complex aircraft developed throughout Embraer’s history, expresses the high technological level achieved by the company”, and added “I would like to congratulate the teams that participated in the development of this program in partnership with the Brazilian Air Force.” The Brazilian Air Force currently has 28 multi-role tankers on order, with the first expected to be delivered in the first half of 2019. Embraer hopes that its new aircraft will rival Lockheed Martin’s C-130. There are currently 38 letters of intent from international customers, including six LOIs from Argentina, six from Chile, 12 from Colombia, two from Czech Republic, and six from Portugal.
Global competition in the 20-ton air transport segment continues to intensify, with Brazil’s launch of its KC-390 program. Embraer figures reportedly place the global C-130 replacement market at around 700 aircraft. In response, it will develop a jet-powered rival to compete with Lockheed Martin’s C-130J, the larger Airbus A400M, Russia’s AN-12 and its Chinese copy the Yun-8/9, and the bi-national Irkut/HAL MRTA project. Smaller aircraft like the EADS-CASA C-295M, and Alenia’s C-27J, represent indirect competition.
Embraer is extending its efforts and markets by crafting a jet-powered medium transport with a cargo capacity of around 23 tons, that can be refueled in the air, and can provide refueling services to other aircraft by adding dedicated pods. The KC-390 has now become a multinational program, and may be shaping up as the C-130’s most formidable future competitor. A tie-up with Boeing underscores the seriousness of Embraer’s effort, which is now a production program…
The KC-390: Program
The KC-390: Aircraft
Contracts and Key Events
2014 – 2018
2007 – 2009
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