Embraer's KC-390 transport has received a type certification from the Brazilian aviation authority, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil.
A ceremony was held at Brasília Air Force Base to deliver the civil certificate of airworthiness to Embraer on 23 October. It was attended by Brazilian President Michel Temer, as well as the country’s Defense Minister Joaquim Silva e Luna, and Lt Brig Gen Nivaldo Rossato, its air force commander.
"The certification of KC-390, the largest and most complex aircraft developed throughout Embraer's history, expresses the high technological level achieved by the company," said Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, president and chief executive of Embraer. "I would like to congratulate the teams that participated in the development of this program in partnership with the Brazilian Air Force."
The aircraft is expected to reach Final Operation Capability by the end of 2019 when it receives its military certification. Embraer has said that the first production aircraft will be delivered to the Brazilian air force in the first half 2019. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the service has 28 firm orders.
The first series production example of the KC-390 made its maiden flight on 9 October. That aircraft joins two other test aircraft. Has of early November these had logged 1,900 flight hours.
The KC-390 is designed to perform missions such as cargo and troop transport, troop and cargo air delivery, aerial refueling, search and rescue and forest fire fighting. Embraer is attempting to push the medium-size, twin-turbine powered transport aircraft into a military transport market dominated for decades by the Lockheed Martin C-130, by pitching what it claims is the lowest life-cycle cost in the market.
There are 38 letters of intent from international customers, including six LOIs from Argentina, six from Chile, 12 from Colombia, two from Czech Republic, and six from Portugal.
Embraer aims to make inroads into the US and international markets by leaning on an agreement that would have Boeing market and sell the transport. What’s more, after establishing a joint venture with Boeing that gives the American aerospace manufacturer complete control over its commercial aircraft unit, Embraer says it also plans to "explore the establishment" of a joint venture around the KC-390, according to a memorandum of understanding released this month by the company. The two companies are exploring the establishment of a manufacturing plant for the KC-390 in the USA, according to Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico.