Embraer's KC-390 airlifter. (Image by Embraer)
GAVIAO PEIXOTO , Brazil, May 21 (UPI) -- The Brazilian Air Force has signed a series production contract with Embraer for the purchase of 28 KC-390 aircraft over a 10-year period.
The deal is worth about $3.26 billion and was inked at a ceremony to open the final assembly line for the military transport, the first of which to be delivered in 2016.
The procurement agreement, which includes provisions for logistics support and spare parts, is dependent on complementary documentation, which is expected within 90 days.
"This is a historic day for the Brazilian Air Force," said the commander of Brazilian Air Force, Brig. Gen. Juniti Saito. "The KC-390 is a project that was carefully specified to serve our nation, in total alignment with the guidelines of the National Defense Strategy, and it will represent a great leap in the operating capacity of air transportation."
"We are very happy to achieve another great landmark in this challenging project," said Jackson Schneider, president and chief executive officer of Embraer Defense & Security. "Few countries in the world can experience the pride of operating aircraft that were specified, developed and manufactured on their own soil, and once again, the partnership between the Brazilian Air Force and Embraer is generating a product that promises to be an outstanding worldwide success."
The KC-390 is a jet powered airlifter that can carry as much as 23 tons of cargo. It can also engage in aerial refueling, search-and-rescue and troop transport missions. Its development began in 2009 under a joint project by Embraer and the Brazilian military.
Assembly of production aircraft will begin next month.