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Embraer advances foreign participation on KC-390

written by australianaviation.com.au | September 22, 2010
An image of the KC-390 tanking. (Embraer)

The Czech government has signed a Declaration of Intent with Embraer which could see it order at least two KC-390 military transport jets and likely to open the way for Czech industry involvement in the program.

The signing follows similar interest from Colombia, Chile, Portugal and Argentina for the jet transport, which has been designed to complement and replace the C-130 in the tactical airlift role.

“We are very pleased with the interest shown by the Czech government in participating in the KC-390 program, and we trust that the country will become one more partner in this successful endeavour,” said Orlando José Ferreira Neto, Embraer executive vice president, Defence Market. “The new agreement reaffirms the KC-390’s potential for success. We are enthusiastic about the prospects of having this cooperation with the Czech Republic’s long standing aeronautics industry, and we believe that this can be the beginning of a solid, long term relationship.”

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The KC-390 program has been gaining momentum since the Brazilian air force announced its intention to buy 28 of the type at the Farnborough Airshow in July this year. This commitment has now risen to 54, with Chile, Columbia, Portugal and the Czech Republic, while Argentina is yet to reveal what number of aircraft it is interested in. South Africa is also reported to have expressed interest, and Embraer foresees a potential market for as many as 700 KC-390s over the type’s production life.

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