June 18, 2013
U.S. aerospace giant Boeing has signed on to market the Brazilian KC-390 aerial refueler and transport, made by Embraer, in selected areas, expanding on a technical agreement signed between the two in the spring of 2012.
Boeing will lead sales, marketing, training and sustainment of the KC-390 in the U.S., United Kingdom and two unnamed Middle East countries.
The pair announced their agreement June 18 at the Paris air show, and they are eyeing a market emerging from what they hope will become a dwindling appetite for Lockheed Martin C-130Js.
The market was previously expected to be about 700 aircraft, says Luiz Aguiar, president and CEO of Embraer’s defense segment. He did not say how many more orders he projects Boeing can bring to the table.
The Pentagon, the largest single defense market on the globe, does not have a requirement for a smaller airlifter; it has been wedded for decades to the C-130 family.
Critical design review for the airlifter is set for next month. The first order is expected to be announced in the first quarter of next year. Two KC-390 prototypes are set to roll out later this year.