Portugal launches negotiations with Embraer for five KC-390 military airlifters

World Aviation Defense & Security News - Portugal
Portugal launches negotiations with Embraer for five KC-390 military airlifters
The Portuguese Council of Ministers approved on June 8 a resolution launching negotiations with the Brazilian planemaker Embraer for the acquisition of five KC-390 airlifters, with option for one more, and one flight simulator.
Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft
(Credit: Embraer)
Since 2010, Portugal, along with Brazil, is one of the main partners involved in KC-390 development program, which also includes Czech Republic and Argentina.

The negociations process with Embraer will be led by the Defense Minister, who will form a team including representatives of the Finance, Economy, and Education and Science Ministries.

"Since Portgual is participating in a very significant way in the development of the KC-390, it is natural that it should follow this investment and also take part in the commercial success of this aircraft", the Portuguese government declared in an official release.

The introduction of five KC-390s will reinforce the Portuguese Air Force current tactical transport capabilities, which mainly rely on an aging fleet of US-made C-130H Hercules transport aircraft. According to Reuters, the sixth optional aircraft would be focused on domestic firefighting missions

The Brazilian Air Force is the KC-390 launch customer, with 28 of the aircraft ordered for US$2.2 billion, with two deliveries set for 2018 and three in 2019.

Since the start of the flight test campaign, on 26 October 2015, both KC-390 prototypes have presented a very high availability, logging an unprecedented flight rate in the program, with more than 650 flight hours accumulated by early November.

The Embraer KC-390 is a medium-size, twin-engine jet-powered military transport aircraft. It can carry up to 80 passengers, or 64 airborne troops, or up to three light tactical vehicles. It is powered by IAE V2500-E5 turbofan and has a maximum range of 2,730 nm with a 14 ton payload.