Embraer will demonstrate its KC-390 airlifter in New Zealand next month in support of its bids for the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s future air mobility and future air surveillance capability requirements.
The aircraft is due in New Zealand in mid-July as part of a 10-country demonstration tour following this week’s Paris Airshow. It will be shown to the RNZAF in support of the Brazilian manufacturer’s bids to meet New Zealand’s airlift and maritime surveillance requirements to replace the C-130H and 757 transports and the P-3K2 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft.
“We have solutions for both … and we decided to bid for both,” Embraer Defence & Security chief executive officer Jackson Schneider told Australian Aviation at the Paris Airshow on Wednesday.
Embraer is offering the KC-390 for the RNZAF’s airlift requirement but won’t confirm if it is offering the KC-390 or a variant of the E195 airliner for the maritime surveillance role.
“In maritime patrol we can offer solutions with the KC-390 or even offer solutions with the E195. Both are very efficient platforms to meet maritime patrol needs,” Schneider said.
But what mission system a maritime surveillance configured KC-390 or E195 would be fitted with Embraer won’t reveal.
“How I address the need this is something I don’t want to [disclose] but I have the possibility to offer solutions with both platforms.”
Meanwhile the Brazilian air force is due to receive the first of 28 KC-390s it has on order in early 2018, while Portugal has announced plans to order five.
“We had the very positive announcement from the Portuguese government that it will buy five units, we will have that contract signed this year,” Schneider said.
As for the potential for other international sales, “I’m very positive”.
To date the two KC-390 development aircraft have flown over 1,000 flight hours.
“We’ve fulfilled many phases and stages of the test [campaign], up ’til now everything is according to the plan and we’re very satisfied with that. In fact in some specific analysis we are getting even better [performance] figures than planning forecast,” Schneider said.
“We are proving that what we said we would do we will do.”
Prior to the airshow the KC-390 was demonstrated in Sweden, while following the show it is due to be demonstrated in Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia. The aircraft won’t be demonstrated in Australia as part of the current tour.