Embraer confirms airlifter plan

Paris
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Embraer is considering launching a tactical transport to compete with Lockheed Martin's C-130 Hercules, says outgoing president and chief executive Mauricio Botelho, confirming an exclusive report from late last year.  Eyeing a gap in the market above Alenia Aeronautica's C-27J, Botelho says Embraer is "testing the concept", but "would need a real demonstration of interest" to launch a full development programme.

The potential addition to Embraer's product line would be turbofan-powered, have a high wing, rear cargo ramp and a 19t payload, and draw on the E-190 regional jet. "We are looking at a $50 million price target," Botelho said during an interview in Paris last week. Embraer has no timetable for developing the aircraft, he said, while Fred Curado, who will succeed him as chief executive this month, said: "We are not about to announce something."