Embraer has signed a BRL7.2bn ($3.25bn) contract with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) for series production and delivery of the KC-390 military transport aircraft.

Signed during the opening ceremony of the KC-390 final assembly line in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the contract covers delivery of a total of 28 aircraft, along with a logistical support package comprising spare parts and maintenance.

Embraer Defense & Security president and CEO Jackson Schneider said the contract signing marks another great landmark in the challenging project, which is generating a product that promises to be an outstanding worldwide success.

Brazilian Air Force commander brigadier general Juniti Saito said: "The KC-390 is a project that was carefully specified to serve our nation, in total alignment with the guidelines of the National Defense Strategy, and it will represent a great leap in the operating capacity of air transportation."

Initiated in 2009, the KC-390 is a joint project between Embraer and FAB to develop and produce a tactical military transport and aerial refuelling aircraft, which will represent a significant advancement in terms of technology and innovation for the Brazilian aeronautics industry.

"The KC-390 will represent a significant advancement in terms of technology and innovation for the Brazilian aeronautics industry."

The aircraft is designed to perform a broad spectrum of missions, from cargo and troop transport, cargo deployment, aerial refuelling, search-and-rescue (SAR) and combating forest fires, with lower operating costs.

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By GlobalData

Manufacturing work under the contract is scheduled to take place at the company’s Gaviao Peixoto industrial plant, where the first prototype is already in the structural assembly phase, with final assembly planned to start next month.

Aircraft deliveries are scheduled to start by the end of 2016, and continue over a period of ten years.

Apart from Brazilian Air Force’s lot, around 32 medium-lift aircraft are also expected to be purchased by other militaries worldwide.

Image: An artistic impression of Brazilian Air Force’s KC-390 tanker aircraft in flight. Photo: courtesy of orça Aérea Brasileira.

Defence Technology