KC-390 refuel AMXs (image : Defense Industry Daily)
Global competition in the 20-ton air transport segment continues to intensify, with Brazil’s launch of its KC-390 program. Embraer figures reportedly place the global C-130 replacement market at around 700 aircraft. In response, it will develop a jet-powered rival to compete with Lockheed Martin’s C-130J, the larger Airbus A400M, Russia’s AN-12 and its Chinese copy the Yunshu-8, and the bi-national Irkut/HAL MRTA project. Smaller aircraft like the EADS-CASA C-295M and Alenia C-27J may also represent indirect competition.Brazil’s aerospace industry has made impressive global gains in the civilian business and regional jet segments, and in the military market for primary trainer and counterinsurgency aircraft. Slumping civilian demand recently led to layoffs, but rising Brazilian defense budgets give the government a lever to inject funds into the company, while completing a strategic project that has been under consideration for a couple of years.
Embraer will now seek to extend its efforts and markets by crafting a jet-powered medium transport with a cargo capacity around 20 tons, that can be refueled in the air, and can provide refueling services to other aircraft by adding dedicated pods. If it succeeds, it will be the company’s largest aircraft…
(Defense Industry Daily)