Embraer Defence and Security has awarded a contract to Thales to supply its Inertial Navigation System (INS) and the GPS in support of the Brazilian Air Force’s KC-390 tactical military transport and tanker aircraft.

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) signed a $1.3bn contract agreement with Embraer in April 2009 to provide 28 KC-390 military jet transport aircraft over seven years to replace the existing 22 Lockheed Martin C-130E/Hs and KC-130s.

Under the contract, Thales will supply its high performance inertial reference system (HPIRS), which is an INS that combines the advantages of a civil certified product with the performances expected by military aircraft.

The system enables military aircraft to conduct missions by flying in all weather conditions, with the highest level of safety and unique navigation capabilities and performances.

The navigation system also provides significant reductions in lifecycle and maintenance costs, while the modular design enables installation on large civil and military aircraft.

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, aerial delivery, in-flight refuelling, search and rescue (SAR) and medical evacuation missions.

The aircraft features advanced avionics and dual HUD, a full-featured mission system including accurate computed air release point (CARP), a complete self-protection system and a complete self-defence system.

The company has planned to conduct test flights for 2014 with the initial delivery scheduled to take place in 2016.

Chile’s national aeronautical enterprise Empresa Nacional de Aeronautica (ENAER) has also signed an agreement with Embraer to jointly develop the KC-390 military transport jet for the Chilean Air Force.

Image: Thales High Performance Inertial Reference System allows the aircraft to successfully conduct missions in all weather conditions. Photo: courtesy of Thales.