Embraer adds Argentina to KC-390 discussion partners

Washington DC
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Embraer has announced that Argentina is the sixth government to enter negotiations on joining the development phase of the KC-390 transport programme.

A declaration of intent revealed on 29 October proposes to involve Argentina's FAdeA aerospace company in the development project, while the nation's defence ministry is negotiating a purchase of six KC-390s, Embraer says.

The order reinforces "the technological integration of South America's defence segment," Embraer executive vice president for the defence market Orlando José Ferreira Neto says in a statement.

FAdeA, formerly Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina, is the state-owned manufacturer currently developing the IA-73 jet trainer.

Similar agreements on the KC-390 have already been signed in Brazil, Chile and Colombia, with the Czech Republic and Portugal also launching discussions.

Brazil also is in early talks with the United Arab Emirates on joining the KC-390 programme.

The six combined letters of intent call for sales of up to 60 KC-390s.

Embraer is currently in the partner and supply chain definition phase after freezing the KC-390 design earlier this year. The company plans to finalise its partners and supply chains by early 2011.

The KC-390 is being developed to replace ageing Lockheed Martin C-130 turboprops around the world. Embraer projects a market of up to 700 aircraft for a jet-powered military transport with a maximum payload of 23.6t.