The KC-390 aircraft. An Embraer photo
SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS (BNS): Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer's KC-390 military transport aircraft programme has received a major boost with one more country evincing interest to join the project and buying the new airplanes.
Czech Republic on Monday inked a deal with Brazil to participate in the new aircraft’s design and development.
“The agreement marks the beginning of negotiations for the involvement of Czech industry in the design and manufacture of the new airplane, as well as the future acquisition of two KC-390 aircraft by the Czech government,” Embraer said.
The company is already in talks with Chile, Colombia, and Portugal for international partnerships for the KC-390 programme.
While Chile and Portugal have intended to buy six KC-390 aircraft each, Colombia plans to acquire 12 such planes. The Brazilian Air Force has also revealed its intention to acquire 28 KC-390s.
With Czech Republic joining the negotiations, this could result in the sale of a total of 54 KC-390 airplanes to the air forces of these five countries, Embraer said.
The KC-390 is a medium-size, twin-engine jet-powered military transport aircraft. The aircraft’s payload capacity will be 23.6 tons. It will also be able to ferry troops, will have in-flight refueling and search and rescue capabilities.
The first flight of the aircraft is expected in 2014.