BAE Systems and Brazil’s Embraer announced at the Farnborough Airshow on 19 July that they had signed two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) establishing a strategic partnership between the two companies.
Under the first MoU, BAE Systems will market Embraer’s C-390 Millennium multi-role transport aircraft “in markets in which BAE Systems has a significant presence”, the companies declared. This is most likely to focus on countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, said a BAE spokesperson.
In November 2019 Embraer announced that it would form two joint ventures (JVs) with Boeing to jointly market both civil and military versions of the KC-390, which it had rebadged the C-390 Millennium. However, by April 2020 that agreement had fallen apart, with Boeing announcing the JVs would be terminated.
The second MoU signed by BAE Systems and Embraer “confirms an intent to create a joint venture to develop a defence variant” of the electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle made by Eve: Embraer’s urban mobility business.
Also on 19 July at Farnborough, Eve announced a non-binding letter of intent (LoI) with Embraer and BAE Systems to explore a potential order for up to 150 eVTOL vehicles with the aim of exploring how they could be used in the defence and security markets.
Speaking at Farnborough, a BAE spokesman explained that the company was increasingly getting involved in the electrical aircraft market, but through collaboration with companies that already have extensive experience of the technology, rather than BAE “reinventing the wheel”.
by Peter Felstead, Farnborough