KC-390 order for Brazil fluctuates
An air of indecision continues to surround the KC-390 Millennium military transport/tanker aircraft programme for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) after it amended its plans for a second time.
‘Thus, the total number of aircraft to be contracted by the FAB will be reduced from 28 to 22 units, with deliveries scheduled until 2034,’ KC-390 manufacturer Embraer announced in a 9 February statement. ‘The new production rates are aligned with the FAB’s budget conditions while allowing Embraer long-term planning with its suppliers.’
Shephard Defence Insight estimates a unit cost of $85 million for the KC-390, meaning that the new 22-aircraft requirement gives a programme value of $1.87 billion.
The FAB awarded Embraer a contract in May 2014 to supply 28 KC-390 military transport/tanker aircraft, including a logistical support package comprising spare parts and maintenance.
In November 2021 the FAB announced that it was reducing its order from 28 to 15 aircraft, but it now appears confident enough to order 22.
However, ‘there are signs that budgets of some important customers have become strained following spending to fight the [COVID-19] pandemic and its economic impacts’, Embraer noted in its Q2 2021 financial results.
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