It's not one of the major military aircraft manufacturers, but Brazil's Embraer operates in some interesting niches nonetheless. The company recently provided investors with an update on its defense business that includes some interesting tidbits, such as a first glimpse of what India's EMB-145-based airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft will look like.
India's EMB-145 AEW&C (Art: Embraer)
While it looks a lot like the EMB-145 AEW&C that Embraer already produces, with its Saab Erieye phased-array radar atop the fuselage, the Indian aircraft will have an indigenously developed mission system. Embraer has a firm order for three aircraft to be used during development of the mission system, including active-array antenna, plus options for seven more for delivery to the Indian air force.
Embraer will modify the aircraft with in-flight refuelling, increased power generation and expanded cooling capacity. First delivery is 2011. The Center of Airborne Systems, part of India's Defense Research and Development Organisation, will integrate the primary and secondary radars, communication and electronic intelligence, satellite communications and countermeasures systems.
Embraer has also provided an update on its C-390 tactical airlifter project. The company is preparing its response to a request for proposals issued in October by the Brazilian air force (FAB). "A contract for the development of the C-390 is expected to be signed soon," defense and government EVP Luiz Carlos Sigueria Aguiar says, adding: "Negotiations with potential partners and suppliers continue and major selections are planned for 2009."
C-390 (Art: Embraer)
Other snippets: delivery of 46 upgraded F-5Ms to the FAB will be completed in 2009, with an additional batch of 11 under consideration; first flight of the upgraded A-1M (AMX) is scheduled for the first quarter of 2009, with 43 aircraft to be delivered between 2012 and 2015; Chile's 12-aircraft order for Super Tucano trainers includes an Embraer-developed simulator; and Pakistan is the first military customer for the Phenom 100 very-light jet, with an order for four to be delivered in 2009 and 2010.