DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky
May 29, 2024
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This morning Embraer made an interesting announcement, “The Brazilian company AEL Sistemas, based in Porto Alegre, was selected by Embraer Defense and Security to supply three more components to the KC-390 military airlifter and tanker jet: the Self-Protection System (SPS); the Directed Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM); and the Head-Up Display (HUD).”

AEL was selected by Embraer, last September, to supply the new plane’s mission computers. AEL is the Brazilian subsidiary of Israel’s highly respected Elbit Systems.  A browse through the firm’s website confirms the KC-390 will have state of art electronic systems.

“The KC-390 is being designed to operate all over the world, in different scenarios, with the same outstanding performance,” said Eduardo Bonini Santos Pinto, Vice President Operations & COO, Embraer Defense and Security. “The selection of the main suppliers is of utmost relevance for us to achieve our commitment with the Brazilian Air Force of placing the KC-390 at the highest technology standard, as a unique aircraft that will add much value for Brazil.”

With Elbit in Embraer’s toolbox the KC-390 is likely to be a very competent airplane.

2 thoughts on “KC-390 Update

  1. It’s a nice looking aircraft, like the ERJ on which it is based. And I would not be surprised if it became as successful.

    Embraer reminds me of Boeing when it started. They have, and always had, a good mix of military and civilian projects in their portfolio. Even Airbus, within EADS, has more recently adopted a similar strategy. The military can support the civilian, or vice versa. Whereas Bombardier relies on its Transportation (trains) division to bring a similar balance.

    France is reportedly interested to purchase the KC-390 if Brazil orders the Rafale. That would bring additional prestige to their endeavour. Other countries have shown interest in this intriguing aircraft. But I am not sure what particular niche it will occupy though. We would normally expect a turboprop in that category. And Embraer may actually have lost an opportunity to come back in that category and compete with Bombardier and ATR.

    It reminds me of the HS 146 in looks. With GE CF-34 engines instead of the Lycoming ALF 502/507, BAe might have been as successful with the later versions as Embraer is today with the ERJ family. The switch to the CF-34 is what made the Canadair Challenger so successful. But the 146 problem was not only the brand of engine but also the number of engines (4 instead of 2). Apparently Airbus had not learned that lesson yet when they designed the four-engine A340.

    It’s a big bet for Embraer. The risks are high and a lot is at stake in regards to corporate strategy. One way or another it will engage Embraer in its future.

  2. If Embraer was really serious about competing against the C-130 Hercules, they would have chosen two of the same turboprops that power the Airbus A 400M with their 11,000 shp each,for its new KC-390.

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