Embraer claims a strong market response to its proposed C-390 military transport and is focusing its sales effort on 24 potential customers. The manufacturer earlier this year confirmed plans for the E-190-based transport, which will target the Lockheed Martin C-130 replacement market. Embraer is aiming to bring the C-390 to market within four to five years from launch.
Speaking at Embraer's European head office in Paris, Embraer vice-president, market intelligence - defence and global markets Anastacio Katsanos said: "We announced it to check market reaction, and it's been very positive. We might not wait to have a launch customer if we have as good a market response as we are seeing now. The flow of people interested in this programme is enormous."
Embraer has identified a potential market for 965 aircraft across 77 countries for a C-390-class aircraft. Katsanos says the company is concentrating on just 24 of these, accounting for roughly 500 aircraft. The C-390 will sell for around $50 million and compete with the new-build C-130J and cheaper C-130 upgrades.
Katsanos says the new aircraft's E-190 roots mean the C-390 will not be too capital-intensive. "We are very comfortable with the $50 million price tag. We will be able to quickly amortise the investment," he says.
Despite drawing from the technology of the E-190, Embraer will not necessarily use the same suppliers on the C-390 programme. Katsanos says the fuselage and landing gear will be different and avionics are under evaluation. However, the type could use a modified version of the E-190's General Electric CF34 engine, as well as its hydraulics, air conditioning and electrical systems.
In a new development, Embraer has also unveiled plans to offer the C-390 for use as a tanker, with the aircraft to carry two wing-mounted hose-and-drogue refuelling pods.
- Embraer has responded to a US request for information for a counter-insurgency aircraft. Katsanos says the company is competing with Pilatus and Raytheon for the requirement, which he says covers eight aircraft with the potential to grow to up to 36. A deal should be awarded by year-end, with initial deliveries set for late 2008.
Embraer may not wait for a customer before launching the C-390