On 22 August, at a ceremony at the Embraer plant in Évora, Portugal, the Portuguese government signed a formal contract for the acquisition of five KC-390 multi-mission airlifters.
Logistics support, services and a flight simulator are also included under the contract, which is a component of the Portuguese Air Force’s programme to modernise its capabilities to be able to better support the operations of the national armed forces. Deliveries are scheduled to commence in 2023.
The KC-390 is designed to set new standards for efficiency and productivity in its category, while presenting the lowest life-cycle cost in the market. The aircraft fully meets the requirements of the Portuguese Air Force, able to conduct a range of military and civilian missions, including humanitarian support, medical evacuation, search and rescue, firefighting, cargo and passenger transport, aerial delivery and aerial refuelling.
“This is the highest achievement of a careful selection process that makes us proud, representing the entry of the KC-390 into the international market. The KC-390 will meet Portugal's operational needs, ensuring the ability to integrate with allied nations for decades to come,” commented Embraer Defense & Security President & CEO, Jackson Schneider. “This contract strengthens the industrial partnership between Portugal and Embraer, contributing to the development of the engineering and aeronautics industry in Portugal.”
Portugal is the largest international partner in the KC-390 programme: its participation in the development and production of the aircraft is recognised as having had a positive economic impact in the generation of jobs, new investments, increased exports and technological advances.
The KC-390 received civil certification from the Brazilian National Aviation Agency (ANAC) in 2018 and is now in full serial production. Entry into service is expected to occur in the 3rd quarter of 2019 with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), with follow-on deliveries to occur throughout the year.