Features Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | October 22, 2014 | 1.45 PM IST Rio de Janeiro, Oct 22 (IANS) Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has unveiled the first prototype of the largest military transport plane. Defence Minister Celso Amorim, Brazilian Air Force (FAB) commander Juniti Saito and diplomats from 30 countries witnessed the unveiling Tuesday of the KC-390 aircraft at the company's Gaviao Peixoto production hangar in the south-eastern state of Sao Paulo, Xinhua reported. "This significant milestone of the KC-390 programme demonstrates Embraer's ability to manage such a complex and high-technology project and to perform it on track," said Jackson Schneider, the company's president and CEO of defence and security. The KC-390, to be used by the FAB, is the result of a nearly $2 billion deal between Embraer and the FAB in 2009 on the production of two types of military planes. In May, the FAB signed a $2.9 billion contract to purchase from Embraer 28 planes, which will eventually substitute the force's ageing fleet of US-built Hercules C130s. "The KC-390 will be the backbone of the FAB's air transportation network," added Saito. The plane, designed mainly for transporting military troops and cargoes, can also be used in other types of missions, including aerial refuelling, search and rescue operations as well as fighting forest fires, the company said. In addition to the FAB purchase contract, Embraer has tentative orders for 32 more KC-390s from other countries. The plane will go into testing before a second prototype is built, with the first delivery of the aircraft due in early 2016. Embraer is the world's third-largest manufacturer of commercial airplanes, after US giant Boeing and Europe's Airbus. IANS
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