South Africa’s Denel Saab in contact with Embraer about the KC-390
South African aerospace company Denel Saab Aerostructures (DSA) has confirmed it is in contact with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer about joining the latter’s KC-390 military transport and tanker aircraft programme. “We are in conversations with Embraer about participating in the KC-390,” says DSA business development executive manager Grant Sampson. “We believe that suppliers will be down-selected towards the end of this year.”
SA is 80%-owned by South Africa’s public-sector Denel defence industrial group, and 20% by Sweden’s Saab.
Early this month, the Mixed Budget Commission of the Brazilian Congress approved a draft law which would grant extra funding to the country’s Ministry of Defence to fund various acqui sition programmes including the KC-390 programme.
Embraer signed the contract with the Brazilian Air Force for the development and production of the KC-390 at the Latin America Aero and Defence Show 2009, in April.
The KC-390 is expected to enter service in 2015. The participation of other countries in this programme will be jointly evaluated by Embraer and the Brazilan Air Force. The details of the contract, including the number of aircraft ordered, have not been released. It is believed that Brazil plans to buy 23 of the new aeroplanes.
The KC-390 will be powered by two turbofan engines and will have an internal fuselage width of 3,2 m. It will have a maximum payload of some 19 t. (In comparison, the troubled Airbus A400M, in which DSA is a risk-sharing partner, has an internal fuselage width of 4 m and a maximum payload of 37 t).
Embraer hopes that the KC-390 will win some of the market to replace first-generation Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules transports, and other aircraft in the same category, aged 25 years or older. There are 695 such aircraft currently being operated by 77 countries – excluding the US, Russia and Ukraine. The KC-390’s main rival will be Lockheed Martin’s new-generation C-130J Hercules.
Source: Engineering News
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