Embraer has demonstrated the attainment of the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for its KC-390 military transport and aerial refueling jet, to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), on Dec, 20.
The achievement of the IOC ensures the necessary conditions have been met for the aircraft to start operations, in accordance with the scope agreed upon with the FAB. As part of the IOC, Embraer obtained a KC-390 Provisional Type Certificate from the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), which is a testament to the adequacy of the design in fulfilling the demanding certification requirements for transport aircraft.
“We are pleased to announce the achievement of this important milestone for the KC-390 Program,” said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. “The certification campaign has progressed as planned and the tests performed have been very successful, proving the maturity of the aircraft and confirming the performance and the anticipated capacities.”
To date, the tests campaign has accumulated more than 1,500 flight hours with 2 prototypes and more than 40,000 hours of laboratory testing of the aircraft’s various systems. The structural tests campaign is nearing completion, with only the full-scale fatigue test remaining.
According to the schedule, in 2018, the final Type Certificate will be issued by ANAC. Additionally, in-flight tests of various military functionalities will be completed, including the remaining aerial refueling and cargo dropping tests, to fulfill the requirements to receive the final military certification of the aircraft with the achievement of the Final Operational Capability – FOC.
The delivery of the first series aircraft to the FAB is scheduled to take place in 2018.
Embraer KC-390 is a medium-size, twin-engine jet-powered military transport aircraft under development by Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer, able to perform aerial refuelling and to transport cargo and troops.
It is the heaviest aircraft that the company has made to date, and will be able to transport up to 26 tonnes (29 tons) of cargo, including wheeled armoured fighting vehicles.
The aircraft is powered by two IAE V2500-E5 turbofans generating 139.4 kN(31,330 lbf) thrust each.
The KC-390 is capable of carrying out various missions, such as transporting cargo, troops or dropping paratroopers, and aerial refueling, search and rescue, medical evacuation and aerial firefighting, in addition to supporting humanitarian missions.
The aircraft can transport cargo at a maximum speed of 470 knots (870 km/h), as well as operate in hostile environments, including from unprepared or damaged runways.
Other than Brazil, five countries have tentatively agreed to buy the KC-390 since 2010, along with Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic and Portugal.