Photo: Embraer KC-390, company photo
DefenseNews is reporting another competitor is set to enter the competition to replace Canada’s aging fixed wing SAR aircraft fleet, the Embraer KC-390.
In the photo, this aircraft looks small, but it actually has a greater max gross weight and cargo capacity than a C-130J. It has better than 90% of the J model’s range and is faster.
They claim, it was intended as a SAR aircraft from it inception.
“Geraldo Gomes, vice president of business development for Embraer Defense and Security, said … the KC-390 was designed to be a search-and-rescue aircraft and that one of its strong selling points is its low life-cycle costs.”
The KC-390 compares very favourably to the C-130J in terms of payload, fuel capacity, and volume capacity. On the subject of scale, yes, the big windows, fat engine nacelles and generally stumpy look all help make it look like a baby by comparison to the Herc, but the 390 is only about 15 feet shorter in wingspan and is about 10 feet longer in total length.
Embraer continue to prove that good things don’t just come out of Lockheed, and it is well worth shopping about, if only to drive Lockheed down on price!
Here’s an infographic with scale drawings of the two for comparison, plus some stats (in Spanish, but decipherable even if you don’t speak it).
The 390 is really a very pretty plane. I like the organic curves, but then the Blackburn Buccaneer was always one of my favourites, too, and the Buccaneer was so curvy they nicknamed it the ‘Flying Banana’!
An update. No decision, but expected this year. http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/show-daily/farnborough/2016/07/10/canada-may-soon-find-new-search-and-rescue-aircraft-fleet/86517576/
C-27J still seems to be the leading candidate and the fact that the USCG is using it is probably a selling point.
The USCG may be influencing the decision. http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/show-daily/farnborough/2016/07/14/c27j-leonardo-finmeccanica-coast-guard-canada/87076004/
Since Canada already has the C-130J in service they should pick the C-27J to ease maintenance, and training. Canada has limited funds and aircraft.
Pluses for the C-27J are its high altitude performance and ability to take on bulkier loads than the C-295. But it is more expensive to operate.
Going to a mix of C-130J, C-27J, and HC-144 we probably have a great array of options for meeting different needs as economically as possible.