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On 4 September Embraer delivered the first KC-390 multi-mission airlifter to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) at a ceremony at the Anápolis air base in Goiás state.

Embraer has been conducting theoretical and practical training with Air Force teams to commence operations. The KC-390 was developed as a joint project between the FAB and the company to set new standards for efficiency and productivity in its class, while presenting the lowest life-cycle cost on the market. The programme represents a significant advance in terms of technology and innovation for the Brazilian aeronautics industry and an operational improvement for the FAB's transport fleet.

In 2014, the FAB signed a firm order for 28 KC-390 aircraft and initial logistical support. The aircraft are produced at the Gavião Peixoto factory, in São Paulo state. The KC-390 was granted a type certificate by the Brazilian civil aviation authority ANAC (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil) in 2018, when it achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC), which ensures that the necessary conditions have been met for the aircraft to start operations. “The incorporation of the KC-390 into the Brazilian Air Force is a milestone in military aviation. Its modernity will bring an implementation and improvement in the doctrine of use of this multi-mission vector, greatly contributing to the fulfillment of the mission to control, defend and integrate the 22 million square kilometers under our responsibility,” commented FAB Commander, Lieutenant-Brigadier Antonio Carlos Moretti Bermudez.

The entry into service of the KC-390 by [the] FAB represents an important milestone for the programme and it will certainly increase the growing international interest for this aircraft, consolidating the path to new sales,” added Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defense and Security.We are confident that the KC-390, in addition to successfully fulfilling the missions required by our Air Force, will have a positive economic impact on job creation and new investments in Brazil, as well as high value-added exports.”

In order to maximize the operational availability of the KC-390 fleet, the FAB and Embraer Services and Support have signed a comprehensive five-year services and support contract. Under the agreement, Embraer’s portfolio of solutions TechCare will be responsible for logistical and engineering support, maintenance control, component repair, support staff for the aircraft entry into service, materials supply and an additional package that includes structural analysis, maintenance bulletin development and aircraft painting, among other services.

The KC-390, which was also recently ordered by the Portuguese government, can conduct a variety of missions, including humanitarian support, medical evacuation, search and rescue, forest fire fighting and superior cargo and troop transport and launch capabilities, as well as aerial refueling. Equipped with two International Aero Engines V2500 turbofan engines, the latest avionics, a rear ramp, and an advanced cargo handling system, the KC-390 is capable of carrying up to 26t of cargo at a maximum speed of 470 kts, with the ability to operate in austere environments, including unpaved or damaged runways. The aircraft can carry troops, pallets, wheeled armoured vehicles and helicopters. Itss performance benefits from a modern fly-by-wire control system, with integrated technology that lowers crew workload and increases operational safety. Furthermore, the KC-390 can refuel other aircraft in flight, with the installation of removable internal fuel tanks. The aircraft can also be refueled in flight, thus providing greater flexibility for longer missions. An advanced self-defence system increases the aircraft’s survival capability in hostile environments.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian Air Force Commander Lieutenant-Brigadier Antonio Carlos Moretti Bermudez and Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defense and Security celebrate the handover of the first multi-mission airlift KC-390 to the Brazilian Air Force. (Photo: FAB/Sd T Amorim)

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