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31 octobre 2015 6 31 /10 /octobre /2015 12:25
KC-390 resumes flight tests as defence unit rebaselines

 

27 October, 2015 By Stephen Trimble – FG

 

Washington DC - Embraer has flown the KC-390 again for the first time in eight months as the company’s Defence and Security business adapts to a devalued Brazilian currency and a slower development schedule for the new tanker-transport.

 

The flight on 26 October at Embraer’s test centre in Gaviao Pexioto, Brazil, ends an eight-month hiatus caused by a fiscal crisis in Brasilia. As the Real currency has devalued by 50% since the beginning of the year, the government had slowed payments to Embraer on a host of projects, but none bigger than the KC-390. Last July, Embraer announced signing an agreement with the Brazilian air force that extended the KC-390 development schedule by a year, with entry into service beginning in 2018. The agreement also included provisions to reimburse Embraer more than $370 million owed by the air force on the KC-390 so far. Meanwhile, company officials have also restructured the division to remain profitable despite sharply lower revenues as shown on the balance sheet, which is converted to suddenly much more valuable US dollars.

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28 avril 2015 2 28 /04 /avril /2015 11:25
 KC-390 Protection Comes First (English)

22 Avr. 2015 by Embraer

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13 février 2015 5 13 /02 /février /2015 08:25
L’Embraer KC-390 fait son premier vol (video)

L’avion de transport brésilien KC-390 a effectué son premier vol avec succès le 3 février à São José dos Campos (source : Embraer).

 

4 février 2015 par Edouard Maire – Info Aviation

 

L’avion a volé durant 1 heure et 25 minutes piloté par Mozart Louzada et Marcos de Oliveira Lima Salgado. L’équipage comprenait également les ingénieurs d’essais Raphaël Lima et Roberto Becker pour l’évaluation des qualités et performances de vol.

 

« Le KC-390 est le résultat d’une coopération étroite avec la Force aérienne brésilienne et nos partenaires internationaux. Il représente ce qui est probablement le plus grand défi technologique que la société n’ait jamais rencontré dans son histoire. Nous sommes profondément émus d’avoir atteint cette étape », a déclaré Frederico Fleury Curado, président d’Embraer.

 

« Le KC-390 sera l’épine dorsale de l’aviation de transport pour l’armée de l’air brésilienne. De l’Amazonie à l’Antarctique, la flotte de 28 avions jouera un rôle clé dans la diversité des projets de l’État brésilien, dans la recherche scientifique pour le maintien de la souveraineté « , a déclaré le général Nivaldo Luiz Rossato, commandant de la Force aérienne du Brésil.

 

Durant ce premier vol, l’équipage du KC-390 a effectué des manoeuvres pour évaluer ses caractéristiques de vol et a mené une série de tests des systèmes après plusieurs simulations au sol.

 

« Le KC-390 s’est comporté de façon réactive et prévisible », a déclaré le capitaine Louzada. « Le système de contrôle fly-by-wire et l’avionique de dernière génération facilite considérablement le vol. »

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13 février 2015 5 13 /02 /février /2015 08:25
KC-390 photo Ricardo Beccari - Embraer

KC-390 photo Ricardo Beccari - Embraer

 

12.02.2015 Safran

 

L’avion de transport militaire brésilien KC-390 a effectué son vol inaugural le 3 février dernier, depuis le site de Gaviao Peixoto, près de Sao Paulo, où est réalisé son assemblage final. Cet appareil est équipé de nombreux systèmes développés par Safran.

 

Plus gros avion jamais produit par Embraer, le KC-390 a vocation à être utilisé pour des opérations militaires et pour des applications civiles. Il permettra notamment d’assurer des missions de transport de troupes, de secours, ou encore de ravitaillement en vol. A l’issue de son premier vol d’une heure et vingt-cinq minutes, les pilotes d’essai ont souligné le bon comportement de l’avion et sa facilité de pilotage.

Ce jalon représente un succès majeur pour Safran et toutes les équipes qui ont travaillé sur ce programme. En effet, le nouvel avion embarque six « packages » de systèmes et équipements conçus et développés par Safran, démontrant ainsi l’expertise de Labinal Power Systems dans le domaine des équipements électriques aéronautiques (voir encadré). La société a également piloté le banc d’essais électrique global de l’avion, qui a permis de tester au sol l’ensemble des équipements électriques de l’appareil, fournis ou non par le Groupe.

Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (Safran) a produit les roues et freins de l’appareil, le système de freinage, le module de direction des trains avant ainsi que les équipements d’extension / rétraction des trains d’atterrissage. Sagem (Safran) a fourni le stabilisateur horizontal (HSTS*), le plus gros jamais conçu par Safran.

Prochaines étapes du programme : la campagne d’essais en vol, puis la production en série et les premières livraisons, attendues dès la fin 2016.

*Le HSTS (Horizontal Stabilizer Trim System) permet au pilote de régler de manière optimale le calage du plan horizontal afin de maintenir une assiette de vol stable, tout en minimisant l’effort aérodynamique requis sur le manche pour manœuvrer l’avion. 

 

Les équipements électriques de Labinal Power Systems à bord du KC 390

  • La distribution électrique primaire et secondaire,

  • La génération électrique d’urgence, ou Ram Air Turbine (RAT). Ce système permet de convertir un flux d’air en puissance électrique afin d’assurer, en cas d’urgence, les charges électriques nécessaires à la sécurité du vol et de l’atterrissage.

  • Tous les systèmes de ventilation de l’avion, via sa filiale Technofan.

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8 février 2015 7 08 /02 /février /2015 08:25
photo Embraer

photo Embraer

 

3 Feb 2015 By: Dan Parsons - FG

 

The KC-390, Embraer’s clean-sheet aerial refueling tanker, flew for the first time on 3 February from an airfield in São José dos Campos, Brazil. The KC-390’s 1h 25min flight consisted of manoeuvres to assess flight characteristics and system tests, including the aircraft’s fly-by-wire controls, Embraer says. "The KC -390 behaved in a docile and predictable manner," test pilot Mazort Louzada says in a statement. "The advanced system of fly- by-wire flight controls and the latest generation avionics facilitate piloting and provide smooth and accurate flight." Embraer chief executive Frederico Fleury Curado says development of the KC-390 is “most likely the greatest technological challenge that the company has faced in its history”.

 

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:25
Brazilian Air Force Receives More Than Just Flight Controls for KC-390

 

November 19, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: BAE Systems; issued November 19, 2013)

 

BAE Systems, as part of an agreement to provide the flight control system and active side sticks for Embraer’s KC-390 military transport aircraft, has finalized an industrial cooperation contract with the Brazilian Air Force. This is the first agreement of its type completed as part of the KC-390 program.

 

"This agreement is designed to create new opportunities for Brazil’s domestic aerospace industry," said Dr. Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Commercial Aircraft Solutions at BAE Systems. "It will entail software development training and maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for the KC-390 flight control system that will be performed in Brazil. BAE Systems has also proposed performing some final assembly work for its KC-390 products in the country."

 

"The KC-390 Program is a great opportunity for the evolution of the Brazilian Aerospace Industry. We are happy to see that BAE Systems has made the strategic commitment to our efforts. It will be an important partner in providing technological solutions in Brazil to support the development and future operation of the KC-390 fleet," said Brigadier-General Crepaldi, president of COPAC, the Brazilian Air Force Commission in charge of the KC-390 program.

 

The KC-390 is a twin-turbofan powered, medium-weight transport jet that can be refuelled in flight and used for in-flight or on-ground refuelling of other aircraft. BAE Systems will provide the flight control electronics that provides full fly-by-wire control for the aircraft. In addition, the company will provide active side sticks for the KC-390, which represents the latest evolution in inceptor technology, enabling pilots to control aircraft by improving performance through tactile cues used to direct and manoeuvre the plane.

 

"We are committed to working closely with both the Brazilian customer and local industry," says Jim Reid, general manager of BAE Systems in Brazil. "This agreement is further evidence of this intent and comes on the back of our final OPV delivery to the Brazilian Navy and ongoing partnership with the Brazilian Army upgrading its M113 fleet."

 

BAE Systems has provided support to the Brazilian Armed Forces for naval guns, radars, and armored vehicles since 1998 from its office in Brasilia.

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1 octobre 2013 2 01 /10 /octobre /2013 07:25
Tencate Selected by Aerotron Brazil for Supplying Ballistic Protection for KC-390 Military Transport Aircraft

Sep 30, 2013 ASDNews Source : TenCate

 

Aerotron Brazil, the prime contractor for the Embraer KC-390 project, has chosen TenCate Advanced Armour as its technical and industrial partner and the supplier of the materials and special processes. Aerotron Brazil and TenCate Advanced Armour are working closely together to finalize the design and to build the prototypes of the ballistic protection according to the schedule, weight and performance requirements for the Embraer KC-390 program.

 

The KC-390 is the largest airplane ever conceived and built by the Brazilian aeronautics industry and will establish a new standard for medium-sized military transport aircraft, in terms of performance and payload, as well as advance mission and flight systems. It is to perform aerial refueling, transport cargo and troops, and to receive fuel in-flight. The KC-390 will be able to transport up to 23 metric tons of cargo, including wheeled armored vehicles.

 

The potential market for the KC-390 is according to Embraer approximately 700 aircraft, and so far letters of intent for 60 aircraft have been signed by 6 different countries. Financial details will not be published.

 

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 07:25
Brazil's KC-390 eyes markets as global alternative to C-130

Apr 23, 2013 Spacewar.com  (UPI)

 

Rio De Janeiro - Brazilian tactical transport jet KC-390 is about to enter the market as the main challenger to Lockheed Martin's C-130J Super Hercules but global domination is far from certain, analysts said.

 

One of the chief reasons may be that the KC-390 cannot always reach areas that the hardier C-130 Hercules and its current upgrade C-130J Super Hercules can with its four-engine turboprop configuration.

 

Brazilian aviation manufacturer Embraer opted for jets instead of turboprop engines for its KC-390, contender for an estimated 700 potential replacements for ageing C-130s worldwide but that strategy means the KC-390 may be limited in landing and taking off in rough terrain, analysts said.

 

Embraer sought buyers for the aircraft at Rio de Janeiro's LAAD defense and security exhibition this month but didn't say if it secured any contracts.

 

Teal Group defense analysts see the KC-390 as more of a straight cargo plane than the C-130, with higher load capacity, modern features like fly-by-wire and a faster cruising speed, Defense Industry News said, citing Flight International.

 

However, the C-130's use of turboprops is better for avoiding foreign object damage from unimproved landing strips and for low altitude operation, which makes them better suited to roles like Special Forces support, Flight International said.

 

The KC-390's first flight is scheduled for next year, which will determine its production and delivery timeline. The KC-390 is likely to be about $12 million cheaper than the C-130J, which comes with a price tag of about $62 million.

 

Despite being more expensive the C-130J has secured more than 300 orders worldwide. More than 60 countries would still use the old workhorse and some have opted for avionics and hardware upgrades on the old planes rather than turning to alternatives. The Hercules aircraft family claims the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft.

 

Embraer says it can compete against most rivals including the C-130J. The Brazilian planemaker has been recruiting international partners as part of a strategy to boost the competitive edge for its contender KC-390.

 

The old C-130 beat competition from Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Soviet/Russian Tupolev Tu-95 and Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker. Lockheed Martin's updated C-130J Super Hercules can perform in-flight refueling, air-to-refueling and tanking. Embraer says it hopes to give its KC-390 all those features plus more.

 

Embraer says its aircraft will command a lift of 23 tons against 20 tons for most competitors, which include the larger Airbus A400M and Russian and Chinese aircraft.

 

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 Defense Industry Daily said on its website.

 

"The KC-390 has now become a multinational effort, and may be shaping up as the C-130?s most formidable future competitor," Defense Industry Daily said.

 

The Boeing Co. and Embraer announced an agreement to collaborate on the KC-390 aircraft program.

 

Boeing says it can bring to Embraer its experience in military transport and air refueling aircraft, as well as knowledge of potential markets for the KC-390.

 

Some of the transport plane's structural parts will come from Portuguese companies after an agreement signed by Embraer and OGMA, or Industria Aeronautica de Portugal, and Empresa de Engenharia Aeronautica.

 

The Brazilian company AEL Sistemas, based in Porto Alegre, is another partner supplying components for the KC-390.

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5 avril 2013 5 05 /04 /avril /2013 07:25

kc390

 

Apr. 3, 2013 - By AARON MEHTA  - Defense News

 

In 2006, Embraer Defense & Security, Brazil’s largest defense company, earned $227 million in revenue. In 2012, it cleared $1 billion in revenue for the first time. That economic growth has mirrored the company’s emergence on the world stage, a presence the company is confident it can increase even as nations around the world cut defense spending.

 

With the U.S. Air Force selecting Embraer’s Super Tucano as the light air support (LAS) contract winner to supply Afghanistan with new turboprop combat planes, the company now has a foothold in America and eyes on worldwide expansion with its KC-390 transport plane. Defense News talked to company CEO Luiz Carlos Aguiar on March 14 as part of a company-sponsored trip to Brazil.

 

Q. You’ve talked about seeking out niche markets. How does the company target these and capitalize on them?

 

A. We have great experience doing that, not just on defense. On defense, we have a couple of examples, such as the [LAS contract]. When the Brazilian Air Force and Embraer designed these airplanes, it was designed for the Brazilian mission. Later, we found we had discovered a niche product for countries like Brazil that had challenges on their borders, trying to control the narco-traffic, drugs, arms and other things like that. The Philippines, Indonesia, even Central America, there is a great challenge to control the drugs there. The Brazilian Air Force had introduced a new aircraft, and later other air forces decided it was the right one to combat these kind of problems we have all over the world.

 

Another case is the patrol and surveillance aircraft based on the ERJ-145 [a civilian regional jet]. It’s a very cost-effective airplane. It is now being utilized by Mexico, by Greece, by India and others. It was again based on the Brazilian budget constraints.

 

Other countries have a lot of cuts and they need to have a surveillance system. For their missions, they don’t need to buy a larger airplane — they need something smaller. Once again, we found our niche for that.

 

Q. How is the KC-390 transport plane different from past products?

 

A. When we thought about this airplane, it was the first time we looked at the international market also, not just the Brazilian requirements. We balanced both needs. We saw the market first. We saw there were 2,000 old airplanes all over the world in more than 70 countries, very well spread out with a diversified base of potential customers. We looked at that and saw there was only one aircraft available in the market being produced and being delivered [the C-130].

 

We looked at the market and then came back to the Brazilian Air Force to talk with them about what they think about their cargo airplanes for the future. They said they were probably going to replace with more C-130s, and we started talking and showed them we were able to develop something in a very feasible way. It took two years working together to launch and sign the contract. It was a much more sophisticated process. We are on schedule, and I think we have a great chance to sell abroad.

 

Q. What other products do you have an eye on exporting?

 

A. When you look at the land side of it, we have the C4I capabilities with the company we just bought, Atech. We need to invest more money on that, we need to have more contracts to develop the technology, but there are capabilities already in place.

 

The radar company, Orbisat, once again has a chance in Brazil to produce and deliver [for Embraer’s border security system] Sisfron, and then we’ll have an economy of scale and a great chance to mature this product and export it also. We are focused on C4I, radars. And our bet is intelligence and communications.

 

Q. You’ve said you view the LAS contract as establishing the company in the American market. How do you expand?

 

A. We need to consolidate first and execute this program. We have a new company there, which is Embraer Defense & Security, incorporated in the U.S. We need to find someone who will manage it, a local, American executive to run this business for us. And then we’re going to write down a new business plan for America that, in my opinion, must include certain types of acquisitions. We need to think a little more about it.

 

First thing is getting there, executing this program [LAS], getting closer to increase our credibility with the end user. We are certain in this. But we want to take this opportunity to get to know our end user. We’re going to find and study the market.

 

Our main objective is two pillars: mobility and surveillance. These two operational capabilities are what we are focused on. Any type of acquisition, any type of project, will be under these two pillars.

 

We don’t want to go into armaments or other areas. Why? Because despite all of the budget constraints, these two areas need capabilities. Even in these specific areas, the budget in Europe or the U.S. might grow despite the fact the entire [defense] budget is shrinking.

 

Q. Are you worried about Beechcraft’s challenge to the LAS contract award?

 

A. No. The process was so robust. Senior people took control of the process. They have internal and external advisers. I think they did the right thing, they did it by the book, and they will prove that. It’s going to take some time, but I think this time we’re going to get there. We are ready to go right away in order to deliver on time, but we need to be patient and wait a little bit more, unfortunately.

 

Q. Could the Beechcraft challenge impact the timing of the contract?

 

A. I hope not. At this stage, it is very difficult to say something. [The U.S. Air Force] needs to [act] carefully so it does not open any gap in the process. That’s the way it is.

 

Unfortunately, our competitors are going downhill. They discontinued a lot of products that in the past were the champions of the market, and they tried to keep this as if it was their survival. They keep saying that they have the lower price. But mission capabilities, past performance and price, there are three variables and the [request for proposal] is quite clear on that. [USAF] took all of the information, put it inside their model, and then said who is the winner. That’s the way it is.

 

Q. Is Brazil’s long-delayed F-X fighter jet program coming soon, and what role will Embraer have?

 

A. I think Brazil is going to make this decision. It is time to make this decision. They have everything in place. All of the contenders have offered their offset programs. It’s more than mature enough to go ahead, in my opinion. I think it’s going to be in the next months, this year, I would say. Our role in that depends — I cannot tell any details — depends on who is going to win.

 

We have a memorandum of understanding with all three of the contenders. Each of them offers an offset program, but we prefer not declaring publicly our preference because we don’t want it to jeopardize the choice. It is a governmental decision, and we will respect that. Whatever they choose, we’re going to be in the process. They need to make this decision because Brazil needs that.

 

And it will have huge benefits for industry as well. There are new technologies, products and developments. There are opportunities for Embraer to leverage our current technology through the F-X. With the F-X, we can even go further in terms of technology, and even some new products could come up with one of these three contenders. That’s what I can tell you, I can’t go further than that.

 

Q. Did the decision to recompete the LAS competition hurt the chances of a U.S. company winning the F-X program?

 

A. There is no formal relation between the two programs. Formally. But goodwill is important. I couldn’t say that the [F/A-18 Super Hornet] is not going to be selected, but for sure, the way that [the initial LAS contract] happened in the United States — choosing a Brazilian aircraft, then canceling the contract, the way it happened — it caused some kind of bad blood, right? It’s a normal, human perception.

 

Q. But you don’t think there was long-term damage to the relationship between the two countries?

 

A. No, I don’t think so. Now, it is different. There are some steps that any competitor in the United States has the right to do. It doesn’t mean the [USAF] is canceling the contract; they are trying to keep our victory. One year ago, they looked at the process, saw some gaps, made a mistake and they canceled the contract. Now it’s different. They are trying to defend their choice. So far, so good. No problem at all with the relationship. It’s a part of the game there. That’s the way it is, there are rules and laws.

 

Q. What is next for Embraer?

 

A. We’re going to have a lot of new projects. And they are big. We’re talking about $20-25 billion in the next 10 years. If you look back, it started in 2008, when we had the new national defense strategy. After that, you had the mobility project with KC-390, the submarine project with the French company DCNS, the Sisfron.

 

In any society, you want to develop technology and protect yourself, because there are threats you didn’t have before. There are more things happening in Brazil right now, and we need to protect ourselves. There are high-level, added-value products we can develop and export. That’s our objective. We don’t see the maximum market as just selling in Brazil and continuing the process later. We try to focus where we can add value, build up a capability, and sell abroad. That’s the way it is.

 

COMPANY PROFILE

 

• 2012 revenue: $1.06 billion

• 2012 backlog: $3.4 billion

• Key businesses: Aerospace, border security, ISR and integrated solutions.

• Key markets: Latin America, Africa, Asia-Pacific

Source: Defense News research

 

———

 

Mehta reported from San Jose Dos Campos, Brazil.

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5 février 2013 2 05 /02 /février /2013 08:25

kc390

 

SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, Brazil, Feb. 4 (UPI)

 

Brazilian defense manufacturer Embraer has added more international partners to its program for marketing KC-390, said to be a cheaper alternative to Lockheed Martin's C-130J.

 

The C-130J updates the internationally renowned tactical transport workhorse C-130 Hercules, the four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft that was originally designed and built by Lockheed, precursor to Lockheed Martin.

 

The fast-aging C-130, modified in more than 40 versions since it first flew in the 1950s, is still used by more than 60 nations worldwide but the tactical air transport market has expanded with the entry of rivals. The Hercules family still claims the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history.

 

Embraer says it can compete against most rivals including Lockheed Martin's C-130J. The Brazilian planemaker has been recruiting international partners as part of a strategy to boost the competitive edge for its contender KC-390.

 

The old C-130 beat off competition from Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Soviet/Russian Tupolev Tu-95 and Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker. Lockheed Martin's updated C-130J Super Hercules can perform in-flight refueling, air-to-refueling and tanking. Embraer says it hopes to give its KC-390 all those features plus more.

 

Embraer says its aircraft will command a lift of 23 tons against 20 tons for most competitors, which include the larger Airbus A400M, Russia's AN-12, Chinese prototype Yun-8/9 and smaller aircraft that 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 Defense Industry Daily said on its website.

 

"The KC-390 has now become a multinational effort, and may be shaping up as the C-130′s most formidable future competitor," Defense Industry Daily said.

 

"A potential tie-up with Boeing just underscored the seriousness of Embraer's effort."

 

The Boeing Co. and Embraer announced in June last year an agreement to collaborate on the KC-390 aircraft program.

 

The two companies agreed to share specific technical knowledge and evaluate markets where they may join their sales efforts for medium-lift military transport opportunities.

 

Boeing says it can bring to Embraer its experience in military transport and air refueling aircraft, as well as knowledge of potential markets for the KC-390.

 

Luiz Carlos Aguiar, president and chief executive officer of Embraer Defesa e Seguranca, says the agreement will strengthen the "KC-390's prominent position in the global military transport market."

 

Embraer says global demand for tactical transport aircraft that can replace the C-130 and other transport planes exceeds 700 aircraft.

 

In 2011 Embraer signed a contract with DRS Defense Solutions for designing, developing, testing and producing the KC-390 cargo handling and aerial delivery system. The work will be performed by DRS Training and Control Systems in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

 

Some of the transport plane's structural parts will come from Portuguese companies after an agreement signed by Embraer and OGMA, or Industria Aeronautica de Portugal, and Empresa de Engenharia Aeronautica.

 

A declaration of intent between the Brazilian and Portuguese ministries of defense, signed in September 2010, preceded the contract, which emphasizes Portugal's commitment to purchasing KC-390 airplanes.

 

The Brazilian company AEL Sistemas, based in Porto Alegre, is another partner supplying components for the KC-390.

 

"The KC-390 is being designed to operate all over the world, in different scenarios, with the same outstanding performance," Embraer's Eduardo Bonini Santos Pinto said.

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24 décembre 2011 6 24 /12 /décembre /2011 07:35
Brazil invests in rival to C-130 transport

 

SAO PAULO, Dec. 23 (UPI)

 

Brazil is investing heavily in developing its potential rival to Lockheed Martin's C-130J and other European, Russian and Chinese competitors in a multibillion-dollar global military transport market.

 

This month Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer signed a strategic partnership agreement with Portugal that gives the Brazilian aviation giant a head start with anticipated early access to parts it cannot immediately produce at home.

 

Embraer is banking on being able to break even and make good on its investment in the KC-390 military airlifter and aerial refueling jet program with just 120 orders, industry sources said.

 

Embraer said the deal with Portugal's Industria Aeronautica de Portugal will give the company access to components to be made in Portugal.

 

Global demand for the 20-ton versatile air transport sector, dominated for years by the C-130 and its Russian rivals, remains strong. Aviation industry forecasts said the total international demand for aircraft in the category could exceed 700.

 

Embraer hopes to develop the jet-powered KC-390 to a point where it can compete comfortably in price and capacity with the Lockheed Martin C-130J, the Airbus A400M, the Russian AN-12 and its Chinese prototype the Yun-8/9 as well as the Indo-Russian Irkut/HAL MRTA aircraft.

 

The air transport market has also seen the emergence of smaller transport aircraft, including the European EADS-CASA C-295M and Italian Alenia Aeronautica's C-27J that Embraer as well as its rivals have to contend with.

 

Embraer said it hopes to enter the market with a jet-powered medium transport KC-390 model that is likely to have a cargo capacity of around 23 tons, able to refuel and be refueled in the air.

 

Portuguese components for the KC-390 are likely to include structural parts and aerial refueling jet technologies.

 

Embraer Defense and Security President Luiz Carlos Aguiar said, "Portugal's participation in the KC-390 program strengthens our position in the European defense market."

 

A declaration of intent between the Brazilian and Portuguese ministries of defense, signed in September 2010, preceded this contract which also emphasizes Portugal's commitment to purchasing KC-390 airplanes.

 

Brazilian government sources said the partnership with Portugal gives Brazil new opportunities to boost its military aviation sector and develop technological competencies.

 

The original C-390 was meant to be a militarized ERJ-190 jet that competed in a niche market between EADS-CASA's C-295M and Lockheed Martin's C-130 Hercules. The aircraft served Brazil's postal services but over the years additional research and development allowed Embraer to add or modify features, turning it into a serious rival to the C-130 range.

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