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Although Embraer’s stand at LIMA 2017 in Malaysia is relatively small, it has very interesting and strong offer – Brazilian aerospace giant is promoting two proven military aircraft. Defence systems are one of the three pillars of Embraer’s activities. Others are commercial jets and executive jets, widely used also in Asia. In total since its foundation in 1969, Embraer has delivered more than 8,000 aircraft. 17 users are from Asia-Pacific region.

The first element of Embraer’s stand at LIMA 2017 is the A-29 (EMB-314) Super Tucano. This aircraft has been selected by 13 air forces around the world, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, the United States, Afghanistan, Colombia, Lebanon and Mauritania. In Asia, Super Tucano is in service of Indonesia. According to official data presented at LIMA 2017, Super Tucano had accomplished 270,000 flight hours and 35,000 combat hours. Embraer said that in total more than 200 aircrafts have been delivered so far. It has more than 150 weapon configuration certified.

It is reported that the Phillipines could be another user of the Super Tucanos – up to six might be procured to replace aging OV-10 Broncos. In January 2017, it was again stated in various sources that Manilla wants to pursue this progeamme. Four contenders are mentioned: apart from Embraer’s EMB-314, it is most likely KAI’s KT-1 Woongbi, Beechcraft’s T-6 Texan II, and Elbit Systems’ L-39. It is said that Embraer is the most likely option. Understandably, Embraer didn`t opine any rumours regarding this possibility. It applies also to a recently reported willingess of Nigeria to buy ex-Brazilian EMB-412s which was not commented by the officials of Embraer.

The second one is the KC-390 multirole aircraft designed for cargo/troop transport and air delivery, air refuelling, SAR, fire-fighting. The prototype performed its first flight in February 2015. In February 2017, Embraer company and the Brazilian Air Force successfully tested aerial tanking capabilities between KC-390 and the F-5M fighters. The flight test for this year includes system certification tests, articial ice assessment, cross-wind tests and aerial refuelling assessment. Embraer confirms that the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is planned for late 2017 and the Full Operations Capability (FOC) for the first half of 2018. At this moment Embraer anticipates potential customers both in the Middle East and Asia. In Europe Portugal is believed to be interested in KC-390.

Robert Czulda

 

(Photos: Robert Czulda)

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