Almost 40 years after securing its first export deal – with Uruguay – the region’s only aircraft manufacturer, Embraer, is back at FIDAE in force.
The Brazilian company will be promoting its line-up of products, including commercial and executive jets and its in-development military transport, the KC-390, which Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, as well as the Czech Republic and Portugal, have signed undertakings to purchase.
Since delivering its first E-Jet in the region in 2005 – an E190 to Panama’s Copa Airlines – Embraer has seen 185 of the regional jets go into service, serving 170 cities throughout Latin America. The manufacturer – which is developing its E2 successor – predicts that airlines in the region will need 700 jets of under 130 seats in the next 20 years, 31% of them replacing existing aircraft, and the rest to support growth in the fleet.
Since its first Latin American exports in 1975 – five Bandeirante turboproops to the Uruguayan air force – Embraer is also reinforcing its role as a major player in defence and sees Brazil’s neighbours as a strong market.
As well as the KC-390 – currently in the construction phase of its first prototype – Embraer will push its integrated solutions in areas such as command, control, communication, computation and intelligence, radars and unmanned air vehicles.
The Super Tucano advanced training and light attack turboprop has also proved its worth in the region, being used as part of Brazil’s Amazon Surveillance System and by Colombia to combat guerillas involved in drug trafficking.
The KC-390 is one of Embraer’s most ambitious projects ever. Designed to meet the requirements of the Brazilian air force, the aircraft is a twin-engine jet, powered by IAE V2500 engines and with a fly-by-wire control system. Capable of carrying a payload of 23t, the KC-390 is scheduled to fly later this year with first delivery in 2016.