Australian company partners to acquire Embraer’s KC-390 airlifter

Embraer KC-390 PT-ZNJ at Brisbane Airport on Monday July 10 2017. (Lance Broad)Australia’s Adagold Aviation is part of a joint venture with Portuguese charter and defence aviation services company HiFLy that has signed a letter of intent to buy up to six Embraer KC-390 transports.

“The aircraft are earmarked for multiple defence projects, and both companies have also agreed on a potential strategic collaboration to jointly explore new business opportunities in training and services,” Adagold said in a statement.

President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security Jackson Schneide said Embraer was keen for the new joint-venture, named Skytech, to be a strategic partner,  “for some of our own planned projects, where we see them adding value and enhancements by providing various ongoing solutions to our own defence customer base.”

Just what ‘projects’ SkyTech might be looking at are yet to be defined, although UN-style peacekeeping and humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) missions on a wet-lease basis spring to mind, as do short-to-medium term contract with a nation’s military in the event of a fleet grounding or to fill a capability gap.

“We have been following the KC-390 program since its inception and believe that it will be a game-changer in the medium-sized airlift category as well as a multi-role platform,” Paulo Mirpuri, Skytech president, said.

Brazil has ordered 28 KC-390s, while Portugal has five on order. The aircraft is sized to replace the C-130 in service, offering a combination of jet speeds and unprepared field performance.

Comments

  1. Lechuga says

    In all honesty I look at this and wonder why there isn’t a civilian variant, would sell like crazy for cargo airlines. The rear ramp is something always missing that seems to only be on military aircraft.

  2. Ben says

    @Lechuga The Lockheed L-100 (the civilian version of the C-130) didn’t sell like crazy. They only built 107 of them in 54 years and 72 of those went to military, government or government/UN contractor operators. Only 35 went to truly private cargo operators.

  3. aries1470 says

    @Lechuga, there is also re-newed interest at least last year, for a potential re-do of the C-130J in to a civilian version.
    On the flip side, there was also the “Russian” Su-80 of which would have been perfect for short/ small field operations, but due to “conceived” inferiority, it never took off, even though the engines were western, and there was also a program to have western avionics made available too, but never came to fruition.

    At times, aircraft exist, but buyers don’t always just jump in, as they wait for others to make the 1st move.