Embraer will be satisfied with a production run of roughly between 140 and 210 KC-390 tanker-transports, chief executive Frederico Curado says today.
Sized between a Lockheed Martin C-130J and an Airbus A400M, the jet-powered KC-390 is targeting an addressable market of about 700 aircraft sales, Curado told analysts while discussing third quarter earnings numbers.
Embraer needs to win only 20-30% of the orders in that market to consider the programme a success, Curado says.
“That’s certainly a good result for us,” he says.
Embraer has already secured commitments from six countries to buy 60 KC-390s, including 28 from the Brazilian air force.
The International Aero Engines V2500-powered KC-390 is scheduled to fly for the first time at the end of next year and enter service in 2016.
Although designed to perform several missions, including cargo, aerial refueling and medical evacuation, Embraer is aware that it faces a daunting competitor in the C-130J.
Backed by US diplomacy and the foreign military sales (FMS) system, Lockheed has been selling C-130s on the export market for almost as long as the type entered service in 1954.
“With Lockheed Martin and FMS and the whole US influence in defence equipment, there are some markets that are very, very unlikely we will be able to participate,” Curado says.
Embraer has struck a deal with Boeing to sell KC-390s in markets that would normally be closed to a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer.
“That may increase the opportunities for us,” Curado says.
Boeing has agreed to lead sales, sustainment and training for the KC-390 in the USA, UK and Middle East markets.