Embraer KC-390

Embraer KC-390

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Concept of the KC-390
Role Medium-sized transport aircraft
Manufacturer Embraer Defense and Security
First flight 2014(Scheduled)[1]
Introduction 2016(Scheduled)[2]
Status Under development
Program cost US$1.51 billion[3]
Unit cost US$50 million[4]

The Embraer KC-390 is a medium-size, twin-engine jet-powered military transport aircraft under development by Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer. It is to perform aerial refueling, transport cargo and troops, and to receive fuel in-flight. It will be the heaviest aircraft that the company has made, and will be able to transport up to 21 tonnes (23 tons) of cargo, including wheeled armored vehicles.[5][6]Design and development

In 2006, Embraer began studies on a military tactical transport design of a similar size to the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.[7] In April 2007, Embraer reported it was studying a medium-size airlifter, with the company designation “C-390”.[8] The transport aircraft is to incorporate many of the technological solutions from the Embraer E-Jets series. It will feature a rear ramp for loading and unloading a wide range of cargo. The unit price is estimated to be around US$50 million,[9] while the competition sells similar models, such as the C-130J for up to $62 million.[10]

The vice president of Embraer, Luís Carlos Aguilar, said that according to their estimates, some 695 military transport aircraft in the world will need to be replaced during the next decade, and that there is potential market for this kind of plane.[11] Potential powerplant options have been studied in the 75.6 to 98 kN (17,000–22,000 lb) thrust range, including engines such as Pratt & Whitney’s PW6000 and Rolls-Royce’s BR715.[7]

In early March 2008, the Brazilian Government planned to invest about R$60 million (or US$33 M) in initial development of the aircraft. At the same time, the Brazilian Air Force was finalizing the purchase contract that probably will buy 22 to 30 aircraft in the first order. Embraer is talking with the possible partners.[12] In May 2008, the Brazilian Congress released 800 million Reais (US$440 M) to be invested in the project and development of the aircraft. The media also claimed that this aircraft is not only going to be used by the Brazilian Air Force, but also for Brazilian Army and Brazilian Navy, but still not confirmed for government agencies.[13]

On 14 April 2009, Embraer was awarded with a $1.5 billion contract to develop and build 2 prototypes.[14][3] In March 2010, Embraer drew up a development schedule, with the first prototype aircraft scheduled to be delivered in late 2014.[15]

In July 2010, during the Farnborough Airshow, the Brazilian Air Force announced it will order 28 KC-390s. During the show, Embraer announced an increase in the cargo capacity to 21 tonnes (23 tons) and that first flight is planned for 2014.[5][16] In 2010, National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) designed and built a large high-grade aluminium alloy wind tunnel model for the KC-390, focused on its aerodynamic features during takeoff and landing.[17]

During Paris Air Show 2011, Embraer announced plans to launch a stretch version of the KC-390 focused on the civil cargo market in 2018, with 200-250 predicted orders over a 10-year period. Two plugs will be added before and after of the center section to lengthen the airplane from the current 33.91 m (111.3 ft), not only increasing internal capacity, but also providing sufficient fuselage length for a side cargo door.[18]

In June 2012, Boeing and Embraer agreed to co-operate with technical know-how to spur development of the aircraft. The companies are to exchange technical and market information, and possibly team up for commercial opportunities.[19] The KC-390 collaboration is part of a broader agreement that Boeing and Embraer signed in April of the same year.[20]

Partnerships and manufacturing

In August 2010, Argentine Defence Minister Nilda Garré announced that Argentina will participate on the construction of the C-390.[21] On 24 August 2010 the defence ministers of Chile and Brazil signed an agreement for Chile’s ENAER company to join KC-390 industry team.[22][23] Colombia also signed an agreement to join the KC-390 programme.[24] On 10 September 2010 Portugal defense minister signed a intentions letter in order to join the programme.[25][26] On 14 December 2011, Embraer announced that Brazil and Portugal have signed a agreement for defense partnership contract, through EEA, will develop the engineering project for the KC-390’s components, which will be manufactured by Embraer subsidiary OGMA.[27]

In September 2010, it was reported that the Czech company Aero Vodochody might manufacture some parts for the KC-390.[28] In April 2011 Aero Vodochody was selected to build the rear fuselage section, crew and parachute doors, emergency doors and hatches, cargo ramp and fixed leading edge.[29]

In October 2010, Embraer announced negotiations for the involvement in the KC-390 manufacturing of Argentina’s Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA)[30] which will also provide parts for Embraer’s commercial jets.[31][32] In April 2011, an agreement between Embraer and FAdeA was signed to manufacture the spoilers, nose landing gear doors, ramp door, flap fairings, tail cone, and electronic cabinet at Cordoba, Argentina.[33] The first parts will be delivered in july 2013.[34]

On 22 March 2011, DRS Defense Solutions was selected to deliver the tanker/transport’s cargo handling and aerial delivery system.[35] On April 7, the Brazilian company ELEB (a wholly owned subsidiary of Embraer), was chosen to design and manufacture the landing gear.[36]

On 5 May 2011, Embraer stated that it had selected Rockwell Collins to provide its Pro Line Fusion Avionics System with Liquid Crystal Displays, Integrated Flight Information Systems (IFIS) with electronic charts and enhanced maps, advanced Flight Management Systems (FMS) with Wide Area Augmentation System, and an Information Management System (IMS) to manage databases and facilitate data transfer with the ground infrastructure.[37] On 27 March 2012, Rockwell Collins announced that it will be providing DF-430 Direction Finder and HF-9000 high frequency radios to the aircraft.[38]

On 21 June 2011, Embraer announced it had selected Esterline Technologies Corporation to supply the autothrottle system.[39] On 5 January 2012, Esterline issued a press release stating that it has been selected by Embraer to design and manufacture the rudder pedal stations, flap selectors, speed brake LRUs, landing gear levers, wheel tiller, and autobrake switch control panels for the aircraft.[40]

On 23 June 2011, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (Safran group) have been selected to supply the wheels, carbon brakes, braking control system, landing gear extension and retraction system, and nose wheel steering manifold.[41]

On 15 July 2011, Embraer selected Liebherr-Aerospace to provide the environmental and cabin pressure control system.[42]

On 26 July 2011, Embraer announced its selection of BAE Systems to provide hardware, embedded software, system design and integration support of the flight control electronics. BAE will perform software, hardware, and system design and support integration of the flight control electronics on the aircraft.[43] On 3 April 2012, BAE Systems announced it have been chosen to provide active side sticks as part of the overall cockpit controls.[44]

On 27 July 2011, Goodrich Corporation announced it has been awarded with a contract to design and produce a fully integrated, fly-by wire, primary flight control system comprising electro-hydrostatic actuators (EHAs), electro-backup hydrostatic actuators (EBHAs), actuator electronics and electrical controls.[45] On 7 May 2012, Goodrich announced it have been selected to provide additional components for the aircraft, including air data system, ice detector, windshield ice protection controller, and the fuel quantity gauging and control system.[46]

In July 2011, Embraer announced it had chosen the IAE V2500-E5 turbofan engine for the KC-390.[47]

On 8 September 2011, Embraer Defense and Security has chosen SELEX Galileo‘s Gabbiano Tactical radar, model T-20. Which is based on Modular Radar Processor (MRP) technology and employs a transmitter that uses SSA (Solid State Amplifier) technology.[48][49] The multi-mode radar combines: GMTI mode to provide moving target locations overlaid on a digital map; Strip SAR mode to map wide swath areas; Spot SAR mode to produces a high resolution image at a specific geographic patch; ISAR mode to classify moving targets on maritime patrol missions; SART mode for emergency.[50]

On 8 September 2011, Embraer announced that Elbit System’s Brazilian subsidiary AEL Sistemas has been chosen to supply the mission computer.[51] On 26 October 2011, Elbit Systems announced that its subsidiary AEL have been awarded with an additional $25 million contract to develop the Self-Protection Suite (SPS), the Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) and the pilot orientation Head-Up Display (HUD) for the aircraft.[52]

On 14 November 2011, Embraer has provided Hispano-Suiza (Safran group) with a contract to supply electrical power distribution systems, which includes: Primary Electrical Power Distribution System (PEPDS), Secondary Power Distribution System (SPDS) and Electrical Power System (EPS).[53]

On 28 October 2011, LMI Aerospace of the United States announced it was awarded with a $44 million contract to design and build the complete wing slat system. Embraer would be funding the engineering, testing and tooling with milestone payments throughout the development process.[54]

On 5 December 2011, Eaton Corporation announced it will design, develop and supply airframe fuel system components for the KC-390.[55] In April 2012, Embraer Defense and Security chose Eaton Corporation to supply the on-board inert gas generation system.[56]

On 7 December 2011, Cobham plc announced in a news release that it has been chosen to supply refuelling receiver probes for the aircraft.[57]

On 14 December 2011, Hamilton Sundstrand announced it has been chosen to supply the Electric Power Generating System for the aircraft.[58] On 19 January 2012, Hamilton Sundstrand has been chosen to supply the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU).[59]

On 14 December 2011, OGMA and Embraer sign partnership agreement, OGMA will produce: central fuselage panels, elevators, fairings and landing-gear doors, and will support Embraer during the certification phase.[60]

On 11 January 2012, It was announced by ACSS, a The joint venture of L-3 Communications and Thales that the company was selected to provide its T3CAS traffic management computer as the standard surveillance avionics suite to provide integrated Traffic Alert & Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and Mode S Transponder.[2]

On 20 January 2012, It was announced that Embraer has chosen Sagem‘s (Safran group) actuator system for the horizontal stabilizer trim system (HSTS).[61]

On 4 May 2012, Thales Group has announced that it has been awarded a contract to provide Inertial Navigation System (INS) and the GPS of the KC-390. The aircraft will be equipped with Thales HPIRS (High Performance Inertial Reference System).[62]

Operational history

Orders and potential customer evaluations

It was reported in 2007 that the Brazilian postal service Correios was interested in buying at least 5 and eventually 20 to 25 of the aircraft, in lieu of using commercial freight service for mail transport.[63][64] On 19 May 2011, it was stated that Correioslog will buy around 15 aircraft for civil use.[65]

In September 2008, the Portuguese Air Force chief-of-staff, being interviewed for a national aviation newspaper Take Off revealed a service interest in the airplane as a possible C-130 fleet replacement, although this interest was outlined as the PoAF being closely monitoring the C-390 development, with a possible order in the future.[66] In February 2010, a further notice[67] reports that Embraer proposed to the Ministry of Defense the acquisition of KC-390 to substitute the ageing C-130 of the Portuguese Air Force. In December 2011 it was announced that the Portuguese government will sign a 87 million euro contract with Embraer for part of the production of the KC-390.[68]

On 7 September 2009, it was announced that France was interested in buying 10 KC-390s as part of negotiations for Brazil to buy the Dassault Rafale.[69]

On 2 October 2009, Sweden declared its intention to evaluate the KC-390 transport aircraft for long term tactical air transport needs connected to its F-X2 offer on JAS 39 Gripen.[70]

In July 2010, Brazilian Air Force announced it intend to buy 28 aircraft.[71]

In August 2010, it was announced that the Chilean Air Force plans to order six KC-390s.[23] It was reported in September 2010 that Colombia intends to order 12 KC-390s.[24] Later on that month, it was also reported that Czech Republic air force might acquire two KC-390s.[28]

In October 2010, Embraer announced the future acquisition of six KC-390s by the Argentine Air Force.[30] It was reported that Brazil and the UAE were negotiating an agreement for military cooperation, which would involve sales of KC-390 in late October.[4]

On 14 February 2012, Brazilian Defence Minister announced that Peru is interested in potentially acquiring an undisclosed number of KC-390s.[72]


Brazilian Air Force ordered 2 KC-390 prototypes.[73]

Specifications (KC-390)


Data from Embraer[74][75] flightglobal.com[76]Aviation Week[77]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: [3]
Cargo compartment: Length 17.75 m X width 3.45 m X height 2.9 m


  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.8 (300 KCAS, 850 km/h)
  • Range: 2,600 nmi (4,815 km, 2,992 mi) (with 13,335 kilograms (29,400 lb) payload)
  • Range with full payload: 1,400 nmi (2,593 km, 1,611 mi)
  • Ferry range: 3,250 nmi (6,019 km, 3,740 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 36,000 ft (10,973 m)

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
  1. ^ “Sagem to Supply Actuator System for KC-390”.Aviation Today, 20 January 2012. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  2. a b “ACSS T3CAS™Traffic Management Computer Selected by Embraer for KC-39”. ACSS, 11 January 2012. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  3. a b c d “Defesa salva de cortes plano de avião cargueiro” (in Portuguese). Estadão, 21 August 2011. Retrieved: 29 May 2012.
  4. a b “UAE and Brazil to sign defence agreement”. Gulf News, 23 September 2010. Retrieved: 30 May 2012.
  5. a b “FAB and Embraer Announce Plan for KC 390 Initial Acquisition”. Embraer, 21 July 2010.
  6. ^ Inside Embraer’s KC-390 Tanker/Transport. Graham Warwick’s blog on AviationWeek.com, 25 February 2011.
  7. a b Norris, Guy (13 November 2006). “Embraer studies C-130-sized tactical airlifter”. Flight International.
  8. ^ Warwick, Graham (19 April 2007). “Embraer reveals details of C-390 military airlifter”. Flightglobal.com.
  9. ^ [1]. Yahoo! Industry News
  10. ^ Govindasamy, Siva. “FARNBOROUGH: Lockheed prepares for KC-390 competition.” Flight Global, 21 July 2010.
  11. ^ Prensa Latina
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ “Câmara aprova verba de R$ 800 milhões para cargueiro militar” (in Portuguese). Base Militar, 7 November 2007. Retrieved: 4 June 2012.
  14. ^ Stephen Trimble (14 April 2009). “Brazilian Air Force signs order launching Embraer KC-390 tanker-transport”. Flightglobal. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
  15. ^ “Embraer reveals KC-390 schedule, design changes”. Flight International. 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-14.
  16. ^ Wall, Robert. KC-390 advances, F-X2 doesn’t. Aviation Week blog, 21 July 2010.
  17. ^ “National Aerospace Laboratory Annual Report 2010”. NLR 2010, pp. 35. Retrieved: 4 June 2012.
  18. ^ “PARIS: Embraer reveals plan for KC-390 civil stretch”. Flight Global, 21 June 2011. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  19. ^ “Boeing and Embraer Sign Agreement to Collaborate on KC-390”. Boeing, 26 June 2012. Retrieved: 26 June 2012.
  20. ^ “Boeing and Embraer Sign Agreement for Broad Business Cooperation to Benefit Customers and Support Industry Growth”. Embraer, 9 April 2012. Retrieved: 26 June 2012.
  21. ^ “la cooperación con países de la región, entre los cuales destacó el caso de Brasil en el que Argentina participará en la construcción del avión de transporte C-390, similar al Hércules”
  22. ^ “Embraer Reveals Discussions With Chilean Aeronautics Industry For The KC-390”. Embraer, 24 August 2010.
  23. a b Chuter, Andrew. “Chile May Tie Up With Brazil’s KC-390”Defense News, 25 August 2010.
  24. a b Croft, John. “Colombia formalises Embraer KC-390 interest”Flight International, 1 September 2010.
  25. ^ Portugal no programa do KC-390 (Portuguese)
  26. ^ “Defence Ministers of Portugal and Brazil Sign Memorandum of Understanding on the KC-390”. defense-aerospace.com, 10 September 2010.
  27. ^ “Brazil and Portugal Sign Defense Partnership for KC-390 Program”. Embraer, 14 December 2011. Retrieved: 4 May 2012.
  28. a b “Czech Republic outlines need for two KC-390s”. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
  29. ^ LAAD11: Embraer signs two new suppliers for KC-390
  30. a b Argentine government manifests its intention to acquire six military transport jets from Embraer
  31. ^ interview FADEA director
  32. ^ FADEA manager interview
  33. ^ Fábrica Argentina de Aviones “Brig. San Martín” S.A. (FAdeA) will supply structural parts for the new airplane
  34. ^ “Fadea dice que avanza en el acuerdo con Brasil” (in Spanish). La Voz Política, 11 June 2012. Retrieved: 12 June 2012.
  35. ^ “DRS Defense Solutions to Provide Cargo Handling and Aerial Delivery Systems for Embraer KC-390 Military Transport Aircraft”. DRS Technologies, 22 March 2011. Retrieved: 2 May 2012.
  36. ^ “KC-390 Cargo Jet Will Have Landing Gear by ELEB”.Embraer, 6 April 2011. Retrieved: 29 May 2012.
  37. ^ “Embraer selects Rockwell Collins advanced avionics system for Brazilian Air Force KC-390 fleet”. Rockwell Collins, 5 May 2011. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  38. ^ “Embraer selects Rockwell Collins to provide communications, direction finding capabilities for KC-390”. Rockwell Collins, 27 March 2012. Retrieved: 31 March 2012.
  39. ^ “Embraer Defense and Securtity selects Esterline for KC-390 Program”. Embraer, 21 June 2011. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  40. ^ “Esterline Control Systems Selected to Supply Cockpit Controls for Embraer KC-390 Military Transport / Tanker”. Esterline, 6 January 2012. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  41. ^ “Embraer Defense and Security Selects Messier-Bugatti-Dowty for KC-390 Military Transport Jet”.Embraer, 23 June 2011. Retrieved: 30 May 2012.
  42. ^ “Liebherr-Aerospace selected for KC-390 program”.Liebherr, 15 July 2011. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  43. ^ “Embraer Defense and Security Selects BAE Systems to Supply KC-390 Parts”. Embraer, 26 July 2011. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  44. ^ “Embraer KC-390 Military Transport Aircraft to Feature Additional BAE Systems Equipment”. Bae Systems, 3 April 2012. Retrieved: 22 April 2012.
  45. ^ “Goodrich Selected for Embraer KC390 Primary Flight Control System”. Goodrich, 27 July 2011. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  46. ^ “Goodrich Selected for Additional Products on Embraer’s Defense and Security KC-390 Military Transport Aircraft”. Goodrich, 7 May 2012. Retrieved: 7 May 2012.
  47. ^ Trimble, Stephen. “IAE steps into military market with KC-390 win”Flight International, 26 July 2011.
  48. ^ “Embraer Defense and Security Selects Mission Radar by SELEX Galileo for the KC-390”. Embraer, 8 September 2011. Retrieved: 29 May 2012.
  49. ^ “Embraer Defense & Security selects SELEX Galileo to supply Gabbiano radar for the new KC-390 tactical transport programme”. SELEX Galileo, 12 September 2011. Retrieved: 29 May 2012.
  50. ^ “Gabbiano Surveillance Radar Family”. Selex Galileo . Retrieved: 29 May 2012.
  51. ^ “Embraer Defense and Securty selects AEl Sistemas for KC-390 Mission Computer”. Embraer, 8 September 2012. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  52. ^ “Elbit Systems’ Brazilian Subsidiary, AEL, to Provide EMBRAER with Advanced Systems for the KC-390 Program”. Elbit Systems, 26 October 2012. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  53. ^ “Safran selected by Embraer to supply the electrical power distribution system and electrical integration for the KC-390”. Safran, 14 November 2011. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  54. ^ “LMI Aerospace Awarded Embraer KC-390 Slats Design and Build Contract”. LMI Aerospace, 28 October 2011. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  55. ^ “Eaton Fuel System Products and Technologies to be Featured on Embraer Defense and Security’s Next-Generation KC-390 Military Transport Aircraft”. Eaton Corporation, 5 December 2011. Retrieved: 27 April 2012.
  56. ^ “Embraer Defense and Security has chosen Eaton Corporation to supply the on-board inert gas generation system for the KC-390 military transport aircraf”. Eaton Corporation, 25 April 2012. Retrieved: 27 April 2012.
  57. ^ “Cobham Selected by Embraer Defense and Security to Supply the Aerial Refuelling Receiver Probe for the KC 390 Tanker Aircraft”. Cobham, 7 December 2012. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  58. ^ “Embraer Defense and Security selects Hamilton Sundstrand for KC-390”. Hamilton Sundstrand, 14 December 2011. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  59. ^ “Embraer Defense and Security Selects Hamilton Sundstrand Auxiliary Power Unit for its KC-390 aircraft”.Hamilton Sundstrand, 19 January 2012. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  60. ^ “OGMA and EMBRAER sign partnership agreement for KC-390”. OGMA, 14 December 2011. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  61. ^ “Sagem (Safran group) selected by Embraer for KC-390 horizontal stabilizer trim system”. Safran, 20 January 2012. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  62. ^ “Thales new generation Inertial Navigation System and GPS selected by Embraer Defense and Security for the KC-390”. Thales Group, 4 May 2012. Retrieved: 4 May 2012.
  63. ^ Costa confirma projeto dos Correios com cargueiro C-390. Monitor Mercantil. August 28, 2007. Retrieved on October 15, 2007.
  64. ^ “Brazilian postal service may order Embraer C-390 freighters”. Flightglobal.com. 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  65. ^ “Correios investirão até R$ 1 bi para criar aérea com aviões da Embraer” (in Portuguese). O Globo, 19 May 2011. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  66. ^ [3]
  67. ^ “Reequipamento das FA: Portugal pondera comprar avião militar brasileiro”. Sol. 2010-02-23. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  68. ^ “Governo assina amanhã contrato com Embraer”. Diário Económico. 2011-12-13.
  69. ^ “Negociação de caças franceses prevê venda de jato da Embraer” (in Porguguese). Estadão, 7 September 2009. Retrieved: 2 May 2012.
  70. ^ “Saab Delivers the Perfect Match to Brazil”. Defence Talk. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  71. ^ “FAB anuncia intenção de comprar 28 aviões KC 390 da Embraer” (in Portuguese).Estadão, 21 July 2010. Retrieved: 14 March 2012.
  72. ^ “Peru may buy 10 Embraer Super Tucanos -Brazil”.Reuters, 14 February 2012. Retrieved: 12 March 2012.
  73. ^ Warwick, Graham. “Embraer Launches KC-390 Tanker/Transport”Aviation Week, 15 April 2009.
  74. ^ KC-390 Brochure
  75. ^ KC-390 spec card
  76. ^ FARNBOROUGH: Brazilian air force signs letter of intent for 28 KC-390s. flightglobal.com
  77. ^ Inside Embraer’s KC390 Tanker/Transport
  78. ^ “VBTP Guarani: A New APC for Brazil”. Defense Industry Daily, 6 January 2011. Retrieved: 15 june 2012.


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