Jun 22, 2019
Embraer plans to deliver its first KC-390 transport to the Brazilian air force in the next few months, after a further slight delay from its original plan to hand over the aircraft at the end of 2018.
The twin-turbofan military transport the company plans to deliver to Brazil was at the show on 16 June, conducting a demo flight for journalists and standing on static display.
Embraer's delivery delay is the result of an incident involving one of two KC-390 prototypes that overran its runway during a test in Gaviao Peixoto, Brazil in 2018. To complete its flight testing regime, the airframer decided to reassign its third production aircraft, which was intended to be the initial example delivered to the Brazilian air force. In July 2018, Embraer said it believed the incident would cause a six-month delay, although it is now likely to take a few months longer.
The firm says aircraft number nine is now in production. The company expects to produce military transports at a pace of 12 per year, but says with a third shift and some changes to its supply chain a higher production rate is possible. The Brazilian air force has ordered 28 examples of the aircraft.
The sale of additional UK-surplus Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft to Bangladesh has been confirmed by a support contract announced by Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (ADG) on 20 June.
The Asian nation is to receive an undisclosed number of aircraft to add to the two already confirmed via a previous support contract for Marshall ADG. With the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) looking to divest itself of nine 'short-bodied' C-130Js (designated C5 in UK service), all but four aircraft have already been earmarked for customers.
The acquisition of the C-130Js will enable the Bangladeshi Air Force to retire the four C-130Bs that it has fielded since 2001 (these were acquired secondhand from the United States), at the same time as augmenting its three Antonov An-32 'Cline' and three L-410UVP-200 transport aircraft that date from 1989 and 2015 respectively.
Gareth Jennings - janes
Russian Su-24 buzzing Spanish carrier Juan Carlos I as it was about to launch AV-8Bs during NATO BALTOPS 2019
Flagship of the Spanish Navy Juan Carlos I was buzzed by a Russian Su-24 this week while the amphibious assault ship was preparing to launch its AV-8B fighters during Exercise Baltops.
Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Arabia Military Industries, Dr Andreas Schwer, told Jane's of the country's interest in the platform to fulfil a need for the transportation of armoured vehicles by the country's military.
"The focus of the Saudi Air Force and other local customers has changed from a 10-tonne payload platform to higher capacity platforms. There's a shift in focus on our side to bigger aviation platforms…but we might shift priority to a bigger model [aircraft]," Schwer said.
Saudi Arabia currently operates the Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules for transport, with approval for the acquisition of 25 C-130J aircraft given in 2012 by the US Congress. Progress on the acquisition of the C-130J platform has, however, been slow to materialise.
"The C-130 payload is 20 tonnes, and the An-132D is a 10-tonne payload, so you need to acquire a bigger platform. The Air Force is looking to go into the 40-tonne size, and that is why we are in intense discussions with Airbus over the A400M."
The development of the An-132D programme had also changed following the acquisition of elements of Taqnia and the King Abdulaziz Centre for Science & Technology (KACST) by SAMI, with SAMI now examining the commercial and export potential of the aircraft before proceeding further with the programme.
Development of the An-132D had been between Taqnia, KACST, and Ukraine's Antonov. The An-132D was based on a legacy An-32 'Cline' transport aircraft that had been modernised to Western standards. Production was planned to take place in Saudi Arabia, with the aircraft to be sold to commercial and military users for operations in austere environments.