The latest military transport project from South America was launched in April 2009 with a contract with the Brazilian Air Force.
Military transprter (Militärtransporter)
Av. Brig. Faria Lima 2170
12227-901 Sao José dos Campos
Intenet : www.embraer.com
On 14 April 2009, Embraer signed a contract with the Brazilian Air Force concerning the KC-390 programme. Details regarding costs and procurement figures were not divulged.
The Brazilian Air Force issued an RFP at the end of October 2008. It could need two dozen aircraft or so to replace its C-130 Hercules.
In 2007, Embraer said that studies have indicated and addressable market of 695 aircraft in 77 countries for this type of transport. Customers would be willing to buy if there is a good alternative to the C-130 Hercules.
A 50 million US-Dollar price tag was mentioned in the spring of 2007.
Development costs could be some 500 million US-Dollars it was speculated in 2007. By the end of 2008, a sum of 700 million US-Dollars was mentioned.
From around 2006, Embraer was looking to expand its military aircraft portfolio, and one of the possible new projects was a military airlifter in the class of the C-130 Hercules. The C-390 – now renamed the KC-390 – will be the heaviest airplane ever produced by the Embraer. At first it was envisaged that the C-390 will incorporate a number of technological solutions developed for the Embraer 190 commercial jet, but after further design iterations in 2008, this is probably no longer the case. Features of the KC-390 include:
- rear ramp, with modern loading and unloading systems
- configurations for transporting the wounded or sick, on Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions
- capability to be refuelled in flight, as well as be used to refuel other aircraft
- fly- by-wire controls to lower the work load of pilots
- state of the art avionics with NVG compatible cockpit for all-weather, day/night operations
- ability to operating on short and unpaved runways, without the need of ground support
After some press reports surfaced in November 2006, Embraer confirmed at a press conference on 19 April 2007 (held during the Latin America Aero & Defense (LAAD) conference, in Rio de Janeiro) that it had been studying the possible development of a military transport aircraft. It said that it has discussed the possible programme with other companies who could share in development and risk. A launch decision needs firm interest and seemed to be a good way off.
Briefings in May 2007 indicated that a economic feasibility study could be completed by the end of the year or early in 2008. After launch, a four year development programme up to delivery was envisaged.
In September 2007, the Brazilian post office (Correios) announced an interest in a civil version of the C-390 to fullfill cargo tasks.
In January 2008, Denel Saab Aerostructures from South Africa expressed an interest to become a risk-sharing partner in the C-390, to manufacture the wing/fuselage fairings (as they do on the A400M).
In March 2008, Embraer reported that the C-390 programme was included in the Brazilian National Budget and in the Brazilian Air Force programme for the next four years. Industrial partner countries and suppliers definition were under way and expected to be finalized by July 2008.
During 2008, after a requirements review with the FAB and other potential customers, the design of the C-390 was changed considerably. A T-tail is now used, there are strakes on the rear fuselage, and refuelling pods are also shown. The fuselage cross section has been increased and the main undercarriage now has 8 instead of 4 wheels. Take-off weight has grown to 72 tons.
The Brazilian Air Force issued an RFP for a transport aircraft like the C-390 to Embraer in late October 2008. Embraer expected that a contract on the development could be "signed soon". In a presentation on 7 November 2008 the company also said that negotiations with potential partners and suppliers continued and major selections were planned for 2009. It seemed now that the C-390 could fly in 2013 and be delivered from 2015.
Denel Saab Aerostructures entered into a long-term strategic agreement with HITCO Carbon Composites of Gardena, California, on 26 January 2009. HITCO said it will use its Viper 6000 Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) machine for fabricating the complex composite Aft Fuselage II work package of the Embraer C-390.
On 14 April 2009, at the Latin America Aero and Defence (LAAD) trade fair in Rio de Janeiro, Embraer signed a contract with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) for the KC-390 military transport aircraft program. “The launch of the KC-390 program is a new landmark in the historical strategic partnership between the Brazilian Air Force and Embraer,” said Frederico Fleury Curado, Embraer President & CEO. The new jet will meet the needs of the FAB, in full compliance with the new National Defense Strategy it was said. The aircraft was expected to enter service in 2015.
Technische Daten Embraer KC-390:
|Maximale Startmasse:||72.000 kg|
|Maximale Nutzlast:||19.000 kg|
|Maximale Geschwindigkeit:||850 km/h / Mach 0.8|
|Marschgeschwindigkeit:||555 km/h / Mach 0.52|
|Reichweite:||2690 km / 1453 nm mit max. Nutzlast|