SAO PAULO – Executives from the Boeing Company and Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer S.A. signed an agreement on Tuesday to collaborate on the KC-390, a military transport plane for Brazil’s air force.
Boeing and Embraer will share “some specific technical knowledge and evaluate markets where they may join their sales efforts for medium-lift military transport opportunities,” the two companies said in a statement.
The Brazilian air force awarded the contract to develop the plane to Embraer in April 2009.
Several countries making components for the KC-390 – Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Portugal and the Czech Republic – have signed letters of intent to purchase the first 60 units of the $50 million aircraft to roll off the Embraer assembly line.
“Boeing has extensive experience in military transport and air refueling aircraft, as well as deep knowledge of potential markets for the KC-390, especially those which were not considered in our original marketing plan,” Luiz Carlos Aguiar, president and CEO of Embraer Defesa e Seguranca, said at Tuesday’s event in Sao Paulo.
Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said the “collaboration matches Boeing’s proven excellence in military transport with Embraer’s KC-390 accomplishments to further advance this highly capable and efficient medium-lift aircraft.”
The Boeing-Embraer alliance comes in the context of a broad bilateral aviation pact signed in April during a visit to Washington by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
Embraer expects to complete the first prototype of the KC-390 next year and to begin test flights in 2014. The aircraft will be designed to take off with a maximum weight of 81,000 kilograms (178,414 pounds). EFE