Embraer looks to Europe expand its military sales

David Oliver

EDR On-Line was invited to visit Embraer ’s subsidiary OGMA’s MRO and production facility at Alverca, north of Lisbon, Portugal, where on 25 May, Embraer’s President and CEO, Francisco Gomes Neto gave an update on his companies activities

The Brazilian aerospace manufacturer had a profitable 2022, with a 19% increase in revenue and an order backlog of $17.46 billion, although the company CEO admitted that there had been some challenges with the supply chain. In 2023 the Defence & Security revenue is up by 50 percent on 2022 and is growing towards the $1 billion milestone.

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The President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security, Mr. Bosco da Costa Junior, said that the company was predicting sales of 490 C-390 Millennium tactical transport aircraft worth a potential $60 billion. With sales of 31 Millennium, which achieved Full Operational Capability (FOC) in March this year with the Brazilian Air Force, the contract for five NATO configured aircraft to the Netherlands to replace its C-130H Hercules, was significant. He underlined that the C-390M scored higher than the C-130J on a number of operational and technical requirements, including less maintenance, and can provide more effective flights hours, while estimated life-cycle costs are within the allocated budget.  

South Africa as well as Austria, the Czech Republic, Egypt, India, Rwanda, South Korea, and Sweden are seen as potential customers for the Millennium. A Brazilian Air Force KC-390 was demonstrated to the Peruvian military high command during the multinational Cooperation IX exercise that took place in May. An order placed by Peru for an An-178 military transport aircraft was cancelled by the Ukraine manufacturer Antonov earlier this year after serious delays to its production due the ongoing war with Russia. Embraer, in partnership with L3Harris, has responded to a Request for Information (RfI) for the USAF ‘s Agile Tanker programme with the KC-390 equipped with a flying boom, which according to Bosco da Costa Junior, highlights the flexibility for the Millennium’s development.

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He also referred to the latest development of the Super Tucano, the NATO compatible A-29N that was launched earlier this year, for which potential sales of $6.5 billion was claimed. Bosco da Costa Junior expected to announce an order for the A-29N later this year.

OGMA’s Services & Support division includes MRO, modifications, engine overhauls, composites production and aerostructures, and its defence aviation unit has more than 60 customers from 30 countries with a services contract backlog of $2.685 billion. It carries out checks, repairs and modifications on C-130H, P-3, C-295, Super Tucano and F-16 aircraft, as well as SA330 Puma and EH-101 helicopters. It will be responsible for full KC-390 fleet support, including heavy checks, avionics, major structural repairs and engineering and logistic support.

It is currently carrying out Mid-Life Updates (MLU) to three Portuguese Air Force (PAF) F-16AMs bringing them to Block 70 configuration, a task that will take some 20,000 man hours over three years. This will include the installation of the APG-83 AESA radar,  a high resolution Center Pedestal Display in the digital cockpit with a colour/night helmet-mounted display and the integration of the Sniper advanced targeting pod. The MLU programme will extend the life of the F-16s from 5,000 to 8,000 hours and may be expanded to the remaining PAF 23 Fighting Falcons.

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Its engine MRO unit covers the C-130 and P-3’s Rolls-Royce T56 turboprops, and AE 1107 turboshafts which power the V-22 Osprey and the C-295’s PW127 turboprops. A new test bench facility is being built for the A400M’s TP400 turboprop.

The aerostructures unit, which contributes 25 percent of Support & Services revenue, produces composite structures including the central fuselage of the Airbus C-295 tactical transport aircraft, 16 of which are destined for the Indian Air Force, and the central fuselage, elevators, sponsons and doors for the C-390 Millennium. 

Photos courtesy Embraer