The scope of a proposed joint venture between Embraer and Boeing includes collaborating on potential upgrades and modifications of the Brazilian manufacturer’s KC-390 airlifter.

Embraer and Boeing announced plans on 5 July to form a joint venture to develop new markets and applications for defence products and services, with a particular emphasis on the twin-engined airlifter.

Details of the final agreement remain under negotiations, but the potential remit appears to be broader than first realised.

The focus remains on collaborating on sales and marketing of the KC-390, but it also could include re-engineering the airlifter as new requirements from potential customers emerge, says Greg Smith, Boeing’s chief financial officer.

“Most of it [will be] sales and marketing of the programme,” Smith says. “But we will collaborate on next generations and modifications that will be required to open that marketplace for the KC-390.”

Attention has focused on Boeing’s potential new role in the KC-390 programme, but the deal encompasses other defence products and services.

The two companies have collaborated closely for several years in the commercial sector, and the ties between them have also been strong in the defence market. In previous years, Boeing has agreed to collaborate with Embraer on sales and marketing and engineering for the KC-390 and the A-29 Super Tucano.

But the main purpose of the new joint venture, if finalised, would be to support sales for the KC-390, Smith says.

“We’re going to partner and sell that aircraft globally,” he adds. “That is the foremost objective here.”

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