SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, BRAZIL -- Embraer officials today said they are interested in offering up one of their business jets as a replacement for the E-8 JSTARS ground surveillance fleet, should the U.S. Air Force decide that it wants to replace the 707-based E-8s with a smaller fleet of business jets for the ground scanning radar mission.
"We are looking at all opportunities that may arise in the U.S. and for this kind of program we not only have the ERJ 145 but we have larger airplanes like the Embraer 170 and 190 as options in terms of platforms to explore in certain kinds of missions" like that the one currently done by the E-8, Fernando Ikedo, director of market intelligence for Embraer's defense division said today during a very cool tour of the company's headquarters here.
Just last week we wrote how Air Force officials recently said they're considering business jets, 737-based aircraft and UAVs as possible alternatives to continuing to use re-engined versions of the aging E-8 fleet.
"Our product was" originally chosen for the Army's Aerial Common Sensor ground surveillance radar system, "so we have good solutions that can be used for that kind of application and we're always willing and open to serving the U.S. market, of course," added Acir Padilha, director of marketing and sales for Embraer's military division.
Padilha went on to say that Embraer could partner with U.S. defense companies to build an aircraft with classified military parts, if needed.
The company already makes ground scanning radar jets based off it's ERJ 145.