Embraer will have special help in October to try to sell the KC-390 multi-role transport aircraft to the Swedish Air Force. The Minister of Defense of Brazil, José Múcio, will play the role of ‘salesman’ for the Brazilian manufacturer before the Swedish government.
Múcio announced on Tuesday that he will travel to Sweden to negotiate the sale of the Embraer airlifter. According to him, the European country may close an order for three to four aircraft of the model, which is a competitor to Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Hercules.
As a ‘bargaining chip’, the Brazilian government is using the order for a second batch of Gripen E/F fighters, manufactured by Saab.
Embraer and Saab: from rivals to partners
The agreement with Sweden is the natural path towards good relations between the two countries. Saab and Embraer, which were competitors in the regional aircraft market in the 1980s, have become partners since choosing the Gripen to equip the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).
Under the contract, Embraer is assembling some fighters at its facilities in Gavião Peixotono Brazil, in addition to providing support to carry out tests before delivering the aircraft to the FAB.
In April, the two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Saab to support the choice of the C-390 Millennium as a replacement for the Swedish Air Force’s C-130.
The Swedish government was inclined to acquire second-hand C-130J units until the beginning of the year, but abandoned plans at the time the FAB was negotiating with Saab to purchase an extra batch up to 30 Gripen fighters.
The C-390 Millennium is the most advanced aircraft ever developed by Embraer and received investment from the Brazilian government. The Air Force originally ordered 28 aircraft, but the former Commander, Brigadier Baptista Junior, during his tenure, cut nine orders from the agreement.
In addition to the 19 FAB aircraft, Portugal ordered five KC-390s and Hungary two other units. The Netherlands and Austria (last week) confirmed the choice of the aircraft to replace their Hercules, but have not yet signed a contract with Embraer.