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Embraer hopes to fly first modernised AMX before July

Embraer hopes to have its first modernized Brazilian air force AMX jet flying before July, the company says in its first quarter earnings report.

Two flight test aircraft and eight production jets are already at the airframer's facilities awaiting their upgrades. Embraer says a total of 43 aircraft will be modernised under the programme. The AMX jets were originally co-produced with Italy.

The modernisation adds glass cockpit displays, new electronic countermeasures, and other items.


Meanwhile, the Brazilian navy's modernisation programme for its 12 Boeing A-4 Skyhawk attack aircraft is continuing on track. The jets are locally designated as AF-1s.

"Two of them are already in our facility in Gavião Peixoto," Embraer says. "The configuration phase was already concluded in 2011 and the detailing of modifications and modernisation is now underway."

Additionally, the company's A-29 Tucano is doing well despite the recent setback due to the cancellation US Air Force light air support (LAS) programme. But the company expects the USAF to award a new LAS contract in 2013. Embraer intends to compete against Hawker Beechcraft for the award, but is wary of bidding if the USAF changes the requirements.

In the last quarter, Brazil also secured contracts with Bukina Faso, Angola, and Mauritania for the light counter-insurgency turboprop. The total value of the African contracts is about $180 million.

Meanwhile, Embraer's KC-390 programme continues having selected all of its major suppliers.

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