February 01, 2013
Credit: Credit: Embraer
Embraer plans to begin efforts to sell its KC-390 internationally after completion of the critical design review (CDR) now under way with its launch customer, the Brazilian air force, which is funding development of the twin-turbofan tanker/transport.
The CDR is to be completed by this quarter. “[By June] we will be ready to go to market with terms and conditions and a final configuration,” says Luiz Carlos Aguilar, CEO of Embraer Defense & Security.
Embraer forecasts a market for 700 aircraft over 10 years, worth more than $50 billion. “That is very conservative,” he says, noting there are more than 2,000 older airlifters, mainly Lockheed Martin C-130s and Russian Antonovs, that will need replacing within 10 years.
The forecast does not include “mature countries” such as the U.S. and U.K., Aguilar says, although he is “more optimistic” about selling into these markets following the April 2012 signing of a memorandum of understanding with Boeing to collaborate on the program.
“We will partner with them in some specific countries,” he says. “We are still discussing that, and will announce a commercial agreement in a few months.” Meanwhile, a “sharing process” is under way with Boeing engineers visiting Embraer, and vice versa.
Aguilar says the program is on schedule. First flight is planned for 2014 and service entry for 2016. In addition to the two prototypes, the Brazilian air force is to order 28 aircraft, while Argentina, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic and Portugal have signed letters of intent to acquire the aircraft.
Embraer’s defense division, meanwhile, delivered the first three of six A-29 Super Tucano light-attack/trainer aircraft for Angola on Jan. 31. Angola is the third African customer for the Super Tucano, and a fourth has been signed but not announced.
Aguilar also says the Brazilian manufacturer is in talks with Saab on an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft based on the Embraer 190 large regional jet. The Swedish company supplies the Erieye radar used on Embraer’s EMB-145 AEW&C.
The Embraer 190 AEW&C would use a new radar developed by Saab and mounted above the fuselage in the same way that the Erieye’s phased-array antenna is carried above the fuselage of the EMB-145, Aguilar says.