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Force Magazine

Regional Heavy Lifters

Embraer’s KC-390 tactical military transport and HAL-UAS’ MTA will compete for the same market

By Atul Chandra

Regional Heavy Lifters

Embraer has managed an outstanding development effort for its first ever tactical military transport, the KC-390. Embraer’s efforts are in stark contrast to the Russo-Indian efforts to jointly develop a Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) which seems to have stalled since the Preliminary Design Phase (PDP) Contract was signed in December 2012. The first flight of the MTA was to have taken place in 2016, a mere two years away now. The KC-390 on the other hand is expected to make its maiden flight this year.

The Brazilian Air Force has already placed formal orders for the purchase of 28 KC-390s worth over USD3.3 billion. The aircraft on order will be delivered over 10 years with the first delivery scheduled for the end of 2016. According to Embraer, “Besides the order by the Brazilian Air Force, other countries too intend to purchase 32 aircraft.”

The KC-390 will be produced at the Gavião Peixoto industrial plant in São Paulo, and the first prototype is already in the structural assembly phase. Final assembly is planned to begin in this month.

Boeing and Embraer are also collaborating on the KC-390 programme with regards to sharing of specific technical knowledge and evaluating markets where they may join their sales efforts for medium-lift military transport opportunities. This partnership will also strengthen the KC-390s position in export markets, where the type is certain to attract strong interest.

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