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Wednesday, 22 August, 2001, 08:20 GMT 09:20 UK
Embraer wins first military export order
An Embraer EMB 120 passenger aircraft
Embraer specialises in small commercial aircraft but is expanding its military unit
The Dominican Republic is to tackle drug smugglers using turbo-propeller attack aircraft built by Brazilian plane maker Embraer.

The Carribean country's decision to buy 10 of the planes is the first export order Embraer has won for its Super Tucano aircraft.

Embraer might also sell Super Tucanos to its Canadian rival Bombardier for use in a Nato flying school, according to Military Procurement International.

Embraer, which is the world's fourth biggest maker of commercial aircraft, is keen to increase its defence sales, say aviation analysts.

Nato hopes

Bombardier will buy 22 Super Tucanos for use in the NATO flying training program in Canada if the Canadian defence ministry succeeds in winning a contract to run the school, said Military Procurement International.

At present, defence sales account for only 5% of total sales for Embraer, which specialises in making smaller, short and medium-haul aircraft.

Bombardier also specialises in making aircraft to fly regional routes and the two firms have clashed over whether Brazil breaks international trade rules by subsidising Embraer.

Rivals in sanctions row

Brazil faces sanctions from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which upheld a complaint brought by Canada over the issue.

Embraer's overall sales were worth $2.925bn in 2000, up 33% on the previous year.

As a result, it improved its ranking in the global aviation industry to 21st from 29th, according to Flight International's Aerospace Top 100 Companies.

The Dominican Republic will use the turbo-prop attack planes for border patrols, training and national security.

Before winning the Dominican order, Embraer had sold 76 Super Tucanos to the Brazilian airforce.

See also:

17 Apr 01 | Business
Americas jet trade row escalates
24 Aug 00 | Business
Brazil faces record WTO sanctions
13 Aug 99 | The Company File
BAe in talks with Embraer
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