What progress has Embraer’s KC-390 programme made to date?

Dave Allport provides a brief overview of progress to date on the Embraer KC-390 Millennium programme.

Embraer’s C/KC-390 Millennium is a medium-sized, twin-jet-engined military transport aircraft that was developed with support from the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB; Brazilian Air Force) and the Brazilian government. This ambitious project resulted in the largest and heaviest military aircraft produced to date by the Brazilian aerospace manufacturer. Initial development work began in 2006, based on use of the commercial Embraer 190 airframe, but it soon became apparent that this could not easily be adapted to military requirements and instead a clean-sheet design was adopted.

A Brazilian Air Force-operated KC-390 during a flare test on November 17, 2019.
A Brazilian Air Force-operated KC-390 during a flare test on November 17, 2019. FAB/Sgt Bianca

Embraer was awarded a $1.5bn contract on April 14, 2009, to produce two prototypes. Partners joining the programme included Boeing, ENAER and OGMA, although the joint venture with Boeing, announced in November 2019, was dissolved just six months later. Aero Vodochody, BAE Systems and Rockwell Collins became major sub-contractors.

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