Embraer could launch a maritime patrol variant of its C-390 Millennium under a new pact with the Brazilian air force to study potential surveillance roles for the jet-powered transport.

Revealing that “collaborative studies” by the pair are under way, Embraer says the work aims to “identify potential platform adaptations for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance [ISR] missions”.

C-390 MPA-c-Embraer

Source: Embraer

Embraer’s concepts for ISR-adapted C-390 include maritime patrol aircraft

The platforms to be used are “already operational in the Brazilian air force, such as the C-390 Millennium”, the airframer says.

Although it does not specifically mention a maritime patrol C-390 variant, an image released by Embraer shows a rendering of such an aircraft.

This depicts an aircraft dubbed the “C-390 MPA” which features a surveillance pod mounted underneath the forward fuselage and carrying a pair of anti-ship missiles on under-wing hardpoints.

“The joint studies will allow the expansion of the solutions portfolio to meet the operational needs of the Brazilian air force’s [ISR] missions and those of potential international customers,” says Bosco da Costa Junior, chief executive of Embraer Defense & Security.

Embraer has previously adapted several of its aircraft for ISR roles, including the EMB-110 and ERJ-145 airliners, both of which are operated by the Brazilian air force.

The service uses fleets of EMB-110s – locally designated as the P-95 – and Lockheed Martin P-3 Orions for maritime patrol missions, which have average ages of 33 and 58 years, respectively, Cirium fleets data shows.

Brasilia has so far received six of a total order for 19 International Aero Engines V2500-powered KC-390s.

Da Costa in February told FlightGlobal his top priority for the C-390 programme is securing new orders, describing a so-called “harvest moment” after years of substantial investment by Embraer to develop the multi-role twinjet. 

“We have to sell as much as possible,” da Costa said at the Singapore air show.