Brazilian Embraer KC-390

Meggitt Safety Systems has been selected by Embraer Defense Systems to provide its fire protection system in support of the Brazilian Air Force’s Embraer KC-390 Tanker transport programme.

Under the $9m contract, Meggitt will be responsible for the complete ATA Chapter 26 fire protection system over the entire life of the KC-390 programme.

Capable of detecting smoke and suppression for the cargo compartment and E-bay, Meggitt’s system also provides fire detection and suppression for the auxiliary power unit (APU), engine pylon and power plant.

The company also provides fire protection systems for Embraer’s fleet of military, commercial and business jets.

The Embraer KC-390 is a twin-engine, medium-lift military transport aircraft designed to perform troop and cargo transport in Antarctica and Amazon regions, as well as aerial delivery, in-flight refuelling, search and rescue (SAR) and medical evacuation missions.

Designed to be quickly configured as a tanker, the military transport aircraft can transport up to 23t of cargo such as wheeled armoured vehicles, support equipment and personnel.

A total of 28 KC-390 aircraft have been ordered by the Brazilian Air Force from Embraer as part of a $1.3bn deal in April 2009, to help replace its existing fleet of 22 Lockheed Martin-built C-130E/Hs and KC-130 planes.

The first flight of the KC-390 aircraft is expected to take place in 2014, followed by entry into operational service with the Brazilian Air Force in 2016.

Commenting on the tanker’s future demand, Embraer vice president Luís Carlos Aguilar said the company estimates around 695 military transport aircraft across the globe will need to be replaced during the next decade.

Image: Embraer’s KC-390 tactical military transport and tanker aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Cobham.