Embraer’s Multinational KC-390 Tactical Air Transport Program
1st of 2 testing prototypes rolled out.
Oct 21/14: Rollout. Embraer rolls out the 1st of 2 KC-390 testing prototypes during a ceremony at its Gaviao Peixoto plant. The event was attended by the Brazilian Minister of Defense, the Commander of the Brazilian Air Force,, and delegations and representatives from more than 30 countries. Looks like the statements about widespread Letters of Intent (q.v. May 21/14) were on the money, though even this turnout is just 30 of the claimed 32.
Next steps: initial systems evaluations before the 1st engine run, then ground vibration tests and the other planned ground tests en route to 1st flight. Sources: Embraer, “Embraer rolls out KC-390 military airlift”.
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
2007 – 2009
Background: KC-390 Competitors
Market & Developments
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