KC-390 achieves initial operational capability

Embraer’s KC-390 tactical tanker/transport achieved initial operational capability (IOC) on December 20, 2017. The third jet to be built, presently on the production line at the company’s São Jose dos Campos plant, is scheduled to be delivered to the Força Aérea Brasileira’s Ala 11 (11th Wing) at Rio de Janeiro-Galeão/Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport later this year. It will be the first productionstandard aircraft; two flight-test vehicles were produced in 2014 and 2015.

In the case of the KC-390, IOC means the aircraft has met standards set by both the Força Aérea Brasileira and the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) Brazil’s civil aviation authority, which has awarded it a provisional type certificate.

Later this year, the ANAC is scheduled to issue a final type certificate to Embraer, which will allow the aircraft to operate in civil airspace with no restrictions. Embraer is expected to complete a final series of aerial refuelling and cargo dropping tests to meet Força Aérea Brasileira requirements in the same timeframe. The two prototype KC-390s have flown more than 1,500 hours and more than 40,000 hours of laboratory testing of the aircraft’s various systems has been completed. Structural testing is nearly complete, with only the tests of the full-scale fatigue test vehicle remaining.

Jackson Schneider, President and Chief Executive of Embraer Defense & Security, said: “We are pleased to announce the achievement of this important milestone for the KC- 390 programme. 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.”