Boeing and Embraer Partner to Sell KC-390

Boeing and Embraer Partner to Sell KC-390

PARIS — Boeing announced Tuesday it will partner with Brazilian defense firm, Embraer, to find a buyer for the KC-390, a medium sized airlifter that Embraer has developed.

Embraer is trying to capitalize on the momentum of landing its first significant U.S. defense contract after it won a $455 million contract to build 20 light attack aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, which is buying the aircraft for the Afghanistan air force. Embraer and Sierra Nevada built the Super Tucano, which beat out Beechcraft’s AT-6.

The KC-390 is a multi-mission mobility and aerial refueling aircraft that is comparable to the C-27J, which is a program the U.S. Air Force has ended because of budget cuts. Boeing also partnered with the Italian defense firm Alenia Aermacchi before the C-27J program for the U.S. was controversially cancelled.


Officials with Boeing and Embraer at the Paris Air Show said this is a different scenario. Luiz Carlos Aguiar, president and CEO of Embraer Defesa & Seguranca, said the Embraer looks forward to its partnership with Boeing and hopes the U.S. based company can help provide in-roads to the U.S, U.K, and select Middle East markets.

Embraer and Boeing don’t expect to sell the KC-390 to the U.S. anytime soon, especially with sequestration and the budget environment in the U.S. However, Chris Raymond, vice president of business development for Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said Tuesday at a press conference that he could see the U.S. potentially buying the aircraft in the mid to long term.

The 411-foot airlifter flies at a maximum altitude of 36,000 feet. It can carry a payload of 23 tons with a range of 2,000 nautical miles.

A question was raised at the press conference if Boeing had ulterior motives in signing the agreement since Boeing is in competition to sell the Brazilian government it’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. Raymond said that did not play into the decision.

Raymond and Aguiar said the timing for the partnership made sense because Embraer recently completed the Critical Design Review and remains on schedule.

Aguiar said the potential market for the KC-390 although he  hinted that it could increase. Embraer officials had previously estimated the market to be 700 aircraft even before the U.S., U.K, or the Middle East could serve as a part of that market.

Boeing’s partnership with Embraer is just it’s latest move to increase its presence in Brazil and South America at large. Boeing officials have listed Brazil as one of the few markets ripe for growth in the defense market. The defense firm had recently opened an office in Sau Paulo, the largest city in Brazil.

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During the tanker competition, the CEO of LockMart was all for allowing foreign bidders. Of course, he didn’t have a contender for the tanker. I wonder how they feel about this now that Embraer is gunning for their market with Boeing’s help?

This aircraft will also play in just about all the competitions involving the A400M. Granted its larger than the C-130 or KC-390 but the latter aircraft are eminently capable and will satisfy the requirements for most of the world’s aircraft. If nothing else, it will force competitors to bid low–real low. Embraer is already on record as saying that they’ll price it aggressively.

Payback is a bitch.

Aurora, not C-130 or KC-390, A400M and Boeing C-17, Embraer and Lockheed, Boeing and Airbus,
Boeing Lockheed F-15 ? Boeing and Embraer KC-390

Big mistake by Boeing for sharing, this will hurt them in the long run and possibly bring their total ruin within twenty five years.

411 feet is really big… I think you meant 111…

Why are we considering partnering or even buying foreign? We need jobs here. Defense systems should be totally made in the USA. When we get into a beef with God knows who.…are we gonna ask them or an allie to send us parts?

Boeing and Embraer would only announce this if was intended to hit the US.

This is presumably Boeing’s response to the C-130, since “their” product is the much larger C-17 Globemaster. Partner with Embraer and try to sell this product to America (since foreign products need American factories).

Alternatively for global sales, Embraer may anticipate the need to scale up production, and may use Boeing facilities to do the work in the US; especially if they’re having trouble finding manpower in Brazil to scale up production there.

Just give the Army there C-27’s! the Airforce stole the last Tactical Mile mission from the Army and got the C-27’s with it. Now they want to develop a new aircraft that does the same thing!!!
No fraud or waste

It fits their product line-up. C-17 for heavy lift, KC-390 as a modern C-130 competitor.

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