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The Hungarian government signed a contract with Embraer on 17 November for the acquisition of two KC-390 multi-missions transport aircraft in the aerial refuelling tanker configuration.

The contract will also cover aircrew and maintenance personnel training, logistical and other support services as part of the ongoing programme to strengthen the capabilities of the Hungarian Defence Forces, particularly with regard to tactical airlift, air-to-air refuelling (AAR) and medical evacuation missions. Delivery of the two aircraft will take place 2023-2024.

Following the procurement of personnel air transport capabilities in 2018, we will see the arrival of KC-390 aircraft to Hungary in 2023-24, able to deliver large military loads in an operational environment, as well as providing air-to-air refuelling services. We are acquiring a multi-role transport fleet for the Hungarian Defence Forces to fulfil the widest possible range of tasks within the national framework, in a sovereign way,” stated Gáspár Maróth, Hungary’s government commissioner responsible for defence development.

Hungary is the second European nation and NATO operator to select the C-390 MILLENIUM, a highly-capable aircraft that offers excellent productivity through [an] unrivalled combination of speed, payload and rapid reconfigurability for multi-mission operations,” observed Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security.

The KC-390 for Hungary will be the first in the world to include an Intensive Care Unit in its configuration. The aircraft fully meets the requirements of the Hungarian Defence Forces, able to support a wide range of missions, including humanitarian support, medical evacuation, search and rescue, transport, precision airdrop, Paratroopers Operations and AAR. These KC-390 are fully NATO-compatible from hardware, avionics and communications perspectives. Furthermore, the KC-390 probe and drogue refuelling system means the aircraft can refuel the Hungarian GRIPENs and other similarly-enabled aircraft.

A sight shortly to become commonplace? A KC-390 MILLENIUM in flight over Budapest. (Image: Embraer)

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