Embraer targets C-390 assembly line in Saudi Arabia

Brazilian company intends to fulfill possible order for 33 aircraft from the country’s air force

Embraer confirmed it has ambitious plans for the C-390 Millennium airlifter in Saudi Arabia. At a conference held this week in Riyadh, the vice-president of the Defense and Security division, Caetano Spuldaro Neto, stated that the company is negotiating the sale of 33 aircraft to the country’s air force.

Furthermore, the plan is to assemble these aircraft in Saudi Arabia on a new assembly line established in partnership with the Saudi Sami fund.

The goal, according to Embraer reported to Brazilian media, is for 50% of the C-390’s content to be local and even an engineering division is included in the proposal.

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Embraer is also considering transforming Saudi Arabia into a distribution center for C-390s in the region. However, a similar proposal would have been taken to the Indian government, which also intends to expand its operations in defense and aviation.

Hungarian Air Force first C-390 Millennium (Embraer)

Vision 2030

The aggressive offer is in line with the Saudi government’s plan to diversify the country’s economy, which is currently dependent on oil. Called “Vision 2030”, the plan includes investment in several segments including aerospace.

The Royal Saudi Air Force is looking for an aircraft to replace its older C-130 Hercules while also operating the C-130J, a modernized version of Lockheed Martin’s transport turboprop.

Embraer’s approach comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is expanding defense spending. The country has been negotiating the order for more Typhoon or Rafale fighters.


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