While military exports to the U.S. and elsewhere would help, they may not be pivotal, Curado said. Embraer now gets half of its defense sales from the domestic market and sees this slice growing to as much as 75 percent in the next few years, he said.
“There’s an opportunity in Brazil itself because it is one of the few countries actually increasing expenses in defense after 20 or 30 years of no or little investment,” Curado said.
Curado worked in Embraer’s commercial business before becoming CEO, serving as executive vice president for the airline market before his promotion. He joined United Technologies Corp. (UTX)’s Pratt & Whitney Canada engine unit in 1984, working with Embraer, after earning an aeronautical engineering degree at ITA, Brazil’s most prominent engineering school.
Embraer’s fleeting win for the Super Tucano contract with Sparks, Nevada-based Sierra Nevada beat the AT-6 entrant from Hawker Beechcraft Corp., the planemaker partly owned by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) Hawker sued the U.S. military, triggering the scrapping of the Embraer contract and an Air Force inquiry into the initial award.
The Air Force’s senior acquisition executive, David Van Buren, was “not satisfied with the quality of the documentation supporting the award decision,” according to a Feb. 28 statement from Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley announcing the cancellation.