Our Bureau - : Oct 20, 2021 - : 1:42 pm

Interview: Jackson Schneider, President & CEO, Embraer Defence & Security

Embraer Defence & Security is well placed to serve the global military transport requirements with the entrance of its C-390 Millennium into the market. In an exclusive interview to Daily News, Jackson Schneider, President & CEO, Embraer Defence & Security said the aircraft is delivering on its multi-mission capabilities along with its advantages of a
modern design and its ability to fly faster and carry more cargo than other military airlifters of the same size. Edited excerpts from the interview.

What are the latest updates related to the Embraer C-390 Millennium?
The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) presently operates four Embraer KC-390s and these aircraft have exceeded 3,650 flight hours in operation, including its extensive use in operations to transport equipment and medical supplies across the country urgently needed to address the COVID-19 situation in Brazil and to provide international humanitarian and disaster relief missions.

The C-390 has already demonstrated its capability of successful take-offs and landings on unpaved runways and the transport aircraft can also operate from an altitude of 14,000 ft. Proving its interoperability capabilities in the activijoint operational exercise with the U.S. Air Force, one of FAB’s KC-390 aircraft dropped paratroopers in joint flights with USAF C-17 and C-130 aircraft during Operation Culminating, in Alexandria, Louisiana, USA.

What makes it ideally suited for potential operators in the Indo-Pacific region?
The versatility of the C-390 Millennium makes it highly capable to operate in the Indo-Pacific region. The aircraft is the most modern in its class, encompassing full “fly-by-wire” technology, carrying up to 26 metric tons of cargo at a maximum speed of 470 knots (870 km/h). It can operate in austere environments, including maximum effort operations to
and from unpaved or damaged runways, which is critical for the diverse terrains of the Indo-Pacific region. Some of the aircraft’s strengths are its unrivalled mobility and operational flexibility in a single platform.

The aircraft is capable of transporting and launching cargo and troops and performing a wide array of missions: medical evacuation, search and rescue, humanitarian search and rescue, humanitarian aerial refueling (fighters and helicopters), aerial firefighting and assistance.

The -390 Millennium provides air forces with optimal fleet performance generated by a cost-effective combination of high availability and productivity as it flies faster and carries more cargo than other military airlifters of the same size. The aircraft features a robust design, flexibility, proven state-of-the-art installed technologies and easier maintenance.

Please tell us about the orders from the Portuguese Air Force and the Hungarian Defence

The Hungarian Defence Force and the Portuguese Armed Forces have signed for the C-390 Millennium’s multi-mission aircraft with air-to-air refueling (AAR) configuration, the KC-390. Both the Portuguese and Hungarian KC-390 aircraft will be fully NATO compatible, not only in terms of hardware, but also in terms of avionics and communications configuration. Deliveries to both air forces are due to start in 2023. The KC-390 aircraft for the Hungarian Defence Force will be the first in the world featuring
an Intensive Care Unit configuration, an essential feature for performing humanitarian missions. The aircraft are also designed to refuel the Hungarian JAS 39 Gripen, as well as other aircraft using the same technology.

Please elaborate on the missions systems, avionics and role equipment available with the

The C-390 flight deck is equipped with a state-of-the-art human machine interface that reduces crew workload and provides enhanced situational awareness. The modern integrated avionics system, open architecture, and full fly-by-wire flight controls will ensure the C-390 maintains enduring operational effectiveness for decades to come.

The advanced mission software provides the crew seamless and total control over the mission. The crew can exploit the electro-optical infrared surveillance sensor, the mission tactical radar, secure voice and data communications, and self-protection systems. Precise navigation is achieved through redundant inertial GPS and military FMS. This delivers an air
release point with exceptional precision and enhances overall mission effectiveness. The C-390 is designed to survive in hostile environments and can be configured with armour protection against 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm (0.50”) ammunition threats. To further improve aircraft survivability, Embraer has developed an optional advanced self-protection system that includes Radar Warning Receiver, Missile Approach Warning System, Laser Warning System, Chaff and Flare dispensers, Directional Infrared Counter Measures System and an On-board Inert Gas Generation System (OBBIGS).

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