Boeing, Embraer sign MoU for KC-390 cooperation

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Boeing and Embraer have announced an agreement to collaborate on marketing and developing technologies for the latter's KC-390 transport/tanker.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) calls for sharing "specific technical knowledge," but no details have yet been revealed. "We didn't really get into the specifics," says Boeing, "it's just a collaboration to share technology."

With Boeing's access to US and key foreign markets, the agreement includes exploring joint sales efforts.

"We don't have specific markets yet. What they're going to do is an analysis," says Boeing.

The agreement does not include a role for Boeing in preexisting contracts. Embraer has already booked a launch order for the KC-390 with the Brazilian air force, and has attracted additional commitments for the type, mostly within Latin America as well as from the Czech Republic and Portugal.

By collaborating on the KC-390, Boeing is able to deepen its relationship with the main supplier to the Brazilian air force.

 

Embraer

Boeing is competing to sell the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to the Brazilian air force, but faces rival bids from the Dassault Rafale and the Saab Gripen for a 36-aircraft order.

"This agreement is not linked to F-X2," says Boeing, referring to the fighter competition. "This agreement with Embraer will continue regardless of results."

The MoU on the KC-390 comes two months after Boeing and Embraer agreed to broadly explore areas of collaboration in safety and technology.

The KC-390 is scheduled to fly in 2014, with deliveries beginning in 2016. The aircraft is widely seen as competition for Boeing arch-rival Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the similarly-sized C-130J.