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Portugal’s Council of Ministers announced on 11 July a firm order for five Embraer multi-mission KC-390 aircraft at a reported purchase price of €827 million.

The order, which comes after two years of intensive negotiations, marks Portugal as the first export customer for the Brazilian airlifter and forms part of an ongoing process to modernise Portugal’s capacity to support military operations and increase readiness in missions of public interest. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2023 and the order includes the provision of flight training devices, electronic warfare support and logistics support.

The KC-390 is designed to set new standards for efficiency and productivity in its category, while also offering the lowest life-cycle costs on the market. It is suited to a range of military and civilian missions, including humanitarian support, medical evacuation, search and rescue and firefighting, while fully meeting the requirements of the Portuguese Air Force, adding new cargo and troops transport, aerial delivery and aerial refueling capabilities.

Today is a historic day for the KC-390 programme and I want to thank those who have contributed to the project. This is a very important step to consolidate the aircraft which we believe will become another success for Embraer. The Portuguese KC-390 will meet new interoperability requirements in the areas of secure navigation, data and voice transmission that will allow the KC-390 to integrate joint operations in multinational alliances in which Portugal is integrated. These requirements, developed in partnership with the Portuguese Air Force, will enable the KC-390 to meet the needs of many other nations around the world,” commented Embraer Defense & Security President and CEO, Jackson Schneider. “The industrial partnership between Portugal and Embraer contributes to the development of engineering and the Portuguese aeronautics industry, representing more than €300 million in exports each year and thousands of highly skilled jobs.”

Portugal is the largest international partner in the KC-390 programme and its participation in development and production of the aircraft is recognized as having had a positive economic impact in the generation of jobs, new investments, increased exports and technological advances. The aircraft received certification from the Brazilian National Aviation Agency (ANAC) in 2018 and is now in full series production. Entry into service with the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB – Brazilian Air Force) is expected to occur in late 2019, with follow-on deliveries to occur throughout the year.

The KC-390 will significantly expand the Portuguese Air Force’s airlift capacity and multi-mission readiness and will continue to contribute to development of the aerospace industry. (Photo: Mönch/TJM)

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