Embraer rolls out KC-390 military airlift

Embraer rolled out the first prototype of the KC-390 military transport from the production hangar at the industrial plant of Gavião Peixoto, Brazil. The first flight, planned to take place by the end of 2014.

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Today, 21 October, Embraer rolled out the first prototype of the KC-390 military transport from the production hangar at the industrial plant of Gavião Peixoto, Brazil.

The event was attended by the Brazilian Minister of Defense, Celso Amorim, the Commander of the Brazilian Air Force, Lieutenant-Brigadier General Juniti Saito, and delegations and representatives from more than 30 countries. This milestone rollout will allow the Company to perform important ground tests prior to the aircraft’s first flight, planned to take place by the end of 2014.

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The official rollout of Embraer Defense and Security KC-390 tactical transport aircraft. Photo: Embraer

“This significant milestone of the KC-390 Program demonstrates Embraer´s ability to manage such a complex and high-technology project and to perform it on track,” said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO, Embraer Defense & Security. “It paves the way for the beginning of the ground tests to prepare for the first flight.”

“The KC-390 will be the backbone of the FAB’s air transportation network. It will be able to operate in both the Amazon and Antarctica. The jet engines give the aircraft enormous agility in fulfilling all of its missions, faster and better,” stated Aeronautics Commander, Lieutenant-Brigadier General Juniti Saito.

Following the rollout, the aircraft will continue with initial systems evaluations leading to the first engine run, and then to the ground vibration tests and the other planned ground tests. This aircraft is the first of two prototypes that will be used in the development, ground, flight and certification test campaigns.

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KC 390 rollout. The Brazilian Air Force has contracted Embraer to deliver 28 KC-390 aircraft.Additional 32 aircraft are also on order or options for export. Photo: Embraer

The KC-390 is a joint project of the Brazilian Air Force with Embraer to develop and produce a tactical military transport and aerial refueling airplane that is a significant advance in terms of technology and innovation for the Brazilian aeronautics industry. The aircraft is designed to establish new standards in its category, with a lower operating cost and the flexibility to perform a variety of missions: cargo and troop transport, troop and cargo air delivery, aerial refueling, search and rescue, and combating forest fires, among others.

On May 20th, 2014, Embraer and the Brazilian Air Force signed the series production contract for the delivery of 28 KC-390 aircraft and associated initial logistic support. Besides the order by the Brazilian Air Force, there are currently intentions to purchase for additional 32 aircraft from other countries.

In 2013 Embraer teamed with the Boeing Company to lead the KC-390 sales, sustainment and training opportunities in the U.S., UK and select Middle East markets. Embraer will manufacture the aircraft and collaborate with Boeing on sales, sustainment and training.

Among the leading industry partners are IAE providing the V2500-E5 turbofan engines, Rockwell Collins, providing the Pro Line Fusion Avionics System, augmented with software developed by BAE Systems, and Gabbiano Tactical radar, provided by SELEX Galileo. Elbit System’s Brazilian subsidiary AEL Sistemas is supplying the Head-Up Displays (HUD), mission computer and DIRCM based self protection systems. Messier-Bugatti-Dowty providing landing gear and brakes. Other subcontractors include Thales and Northrop Grumman, providing parts of the aircraft navigation systems, Sagem, Hamilton Sunstrand, L-3, Eaton, Honeywell Aerospace, Astronics, OGMA, Chobham,