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Embraer is providing one of many debuts at this year's Farnborough International Airshow, with the company's KC-390 set to feature at the bi-annual event for the first time.
The event, which runs from 11 to 17 July, marks not only the first appearance of the developmental twin-engined airlifter at the show, but also the first showing outside of its home country of Brazil (notwithstanding a brief stopover on the flight over to Europe at Embraer's Portuguese subsidiary OGMA).
Speaking at Embraer's Evora facility in Portugal in late June, President and CEO of Embraer Defense and Security, Jack Schneider, outlined the plans for the KC-390 at Farnborough and beyond, as well as providing an update on the ongoing test programme and hopes for future sales.
As noted by Schneider, the first of the two flying prototype aircraft will appear in the static display area for the duration of the event. After its Farnborough debut, the aircraft will then undertake a two-and-a-half week demonstration tour, before returning to Brazil to continue flight trials.
"We expect [contract] signatures as soon as possible, but we believe that there will be more serious sales discussion after Farnborough once people have seen the aircraft. After Farnborough, we have planned European, Middle East, and North Africa demonstrations before returning to Brazil. Portugal is confirmed as the first country [on this tour], but others to yet to be confirmed. There are actually more countries that want to receive the aircraft than we have time for," Schneider said.
To date, Embraer has secured 28 firm orders for the KC-390 with the Brazilian Air Force. Letters of intent (LOIs) have also been received from Colombia (12 aircraft), Argentina (6), Chile (6), Portugal (6), and the Czech Republic (2). Beyond those nations that have already declared their intent to procure the KC-390, Schneider noted that Embraer has received a number of delegations from other potential operators from around the world, though he declined to say who, or what the potential market might be.
Gareth Jennings, Farnborough - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
Seen during its rollout in Brazil in October 2014, the KC-390 is to follow its debut appearance at Farnborough with