Embraer selects Pro Line Fusion for KC-390 cockpit

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Embraer has announced selecting the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics system for the KC-390 cockpit, clarifying the latest piece of the military transport's emerging supply chain.

The selection adds the first military customer for Rockwell's latest avionics product and provides Embraer with a familiar cockpit system already in development for Legacy 450 and 500 business jets.

"The already solid commercial and technical relationship between Embraer and Rockwell Collins will be further strengthened by this new partnership in the defence and security area," said Eduardo Pinto, chief operating officer of Embraer Defense and Security.

embraer kc-390, embraer 
 © Embraer

Embraer's decision means Pro Line Fusion beat at least one rival bid. In January, Israel Aerospace Industries publicly offered to supply an unspecified cockpit system for the KC-390 through its EAE joint venture with Brazilian-owned Synergy.

Rockwell's avionics system will integrate into five high-resolution 38.1cm displays that will be a standard feature on the Brazilian air force's future tanker/transport.

 
Image courtesy Embraer presentation to journalists on 22 February

By selecting a commercial-based avionics system, Embraer also avoids technology transfer restrictions imposed on military-derived systems under the US international traffic in arms regulations (ITAR).

The Pro Line Fusion system can be delivered for the KC-390 as an "ITAR-free" package, Rockwell said.

Embraer still has to make several key decisions for the KC-390 supply chain, including the engines and refuelling systems. The engine order has attracted interest from the CFM International CFM56 and the International Aero Engines V2500.

The Brazilian air force officially launched the KC-390 in April 2009, then committed to buy 28 aircraft in July 2010. Five other countries - Argentina, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic and Portugal - have committed to purchase another 32 KC-390s.