FIA 2022: Embraer and BAE Systems to market C-390 to Saudi Arabia

BAE Systems and Embraer signed an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Farnborough International Airshow on July 19 to collaborate in Middle Eastern markets for the C-390, with an initial focus on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Jackson Schneider, President and CEO, Embraer Defense & Security, said: “The MoU for the C-390 Millennium draws on the collective strengths of two leading aerospace players, BAE Systems and Embraer. The aircraft brings a new concept to market, offering a versatile and multi-mission platform with very low operating costs and fast turnaround, which is an unbeatable combination.”

Ian Muldowney, Chief Operating Officer for BAE Systems Air sector, said: “This collaboration recognizes the capability of the C-390 Millennium aircraft combined with BAE Systems’ extensive knowledge and understanding of international markets including experience in standing up military capability and delivering industrialization through the support, maintenance, and training solutions for complex aircraft.”

FAB KC-390 Antarctica
A Brazilian Air Force KC-390 undertaking the type’s first mission to Antarctica on June 29, 2022. Embraer and BAE Systems are now to collaborate in marketing the type in the Middle East, with initial emphasis on Saudi Arabia. FAB/Sgt Müller Marin

Embraer noted that “the C-390 Millennium and its air-to-air refueling configuration, the KC-390, are the new generation of multi-role military transport aircraft already delivering unrivalled mobility and cargo capacity, rapid re-configurability, high availability, improved comfort, and flight safety, as well as reduced operational costs through its life cycle - all in a single platform.”

On the same day as the C-390 teaming was announced, the two companies also signed an MoU on eVTOL collaboration, under which the companies intend to create a joint venture that will bring together the complementary skills of Embraer and BAE Systems to pursue the potential development of a defence variant, with Eve being the platform provider.

Schneider said: “Teams from BAE Systems and Embraer will continue working together to explore how the aircraft, designed for the urban mobility market, can provide cost-effective, sustainable, and adaptable capability as a defence variant. Muldowney said: “Our customers’ operating environment is increasingly complex and eVTOL is just one example of how we’re looking at emerging technologies, including those from the commercial market. We are exploring how we can adapt these solutions to bring vital operational capability to our customers quickly and at a lower cost – whilst also supporting environmental and sustainability goals,”

In December 2021, BAE Systems and Embraer had first revealed plans to work together on the development of the Eve eVTOL aircraft as a potential defence variant. This latest announcement expands on that collaboration to harness the collective expertise of the two leading aerospace and defence organisations.