Argentina and Brazil Ratify Agreement to Build KC-390

Argentina and Brazil Ratify Agreement to Build KC-390

By Dialogo
February 18, 2011

BRAVO!! Argentina and Brazil agreement for airplaines KC-390
The project to build the KC-390 military cargo plane, designed by Embraer, at the Fábrica Argentina de Aviones (Fadea), in the Argentine province of Córdoba, was a highlight of the joint declaration of cooperation signed by the defense ministers of Argentina and Brazil, Arturo Puricelli and Nelson Jobim.

During the meeting between the two ministers in Buenos Aires, at which bilateral defense issues were discussed, Jobim confirmed that both countries will continue working on the project. “We’re going to continue developing the KC-390 with the Fábrica de Aviones in Córdoba, so that development can move forward and in order to participate more in the design of this aircraft, which is a plane of very great strategic importance,” indicated Jobim, who specified that the plane is designed to transport twenty-one tons and that “its first prototype will be in 2016, so that it will be on the market in 2018. This plane should be ready in 2018, because nearly 1,500 Hercules military transport planes are going to reach the end of their lifespan in that year.”

The Brazilian minister added that “it’s important that Argentina participate in building the KC-390, because Brazil’s strategic policy in Latin America is one of collaboration.”

The dates for the KC-390’s prototype and manufacture mentioned by the Brazilian minister indicate slippage from the forecasts previously used at Fadea.

According to Embraer’s plan, the objective was to be that the aircraft would enter into service at the end of 2015, although Jobim mentioned that this would happen in 2018. Jorge Viqueira, one of the directors of the military manufacturer, has stated that another seventy-five technicians and engineers will be brought on board in the next two months as part of the process of cooperation with Embraer, to work alongside seventy-five engineers recently added to the project.

“In the last few months we’ve been in the process of meeting a series of requirements regarding equipment, internal processes, and human resources, in order for Fadea to qualify as a supplier for this program with Brazil,” added Viqueira, who said that he did not know whether the ministerial meeting also included discussion of the proposal for the joint development of another primary training plane to be used by both countries and offered to other Latin American air forces.

According to the Argentine Defense Ministry, other highlights of the issues discussed in the meeting included a variety of technological and industrial development projects, such as the Gaucho vehicle; the maintenance of naval turbines by the “Comandante Espora” National Shipyard; cooperation in the area of logistical support for the binational campaign for a nuclear-weapons-free South Atlantic; and strengthening the annual program of combined exercises and joint cooperation for aid to other countries.

Jobim specified that the scope of this joint declaration will also include “agreements on knowledge transfer and the transfer of sensitive technologies, and for that reason, it will be necessary to sign a confidentiality document.”