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Brazilian Air Force Cuts KC-390 Order

Atul Chandra - : Feb 10, 2022 - : 2:20 pm

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) has reduced its total orders for Embraer’s KC-390 multi-mission transport from 28 to 22 units. According to an Embraer release, it has reached an agreement with the FAB related to contractual discussions regarding the reduced order.

The KC-390 was developed as a joint project between the Brazilian Air Force and Embraer. 

In 2014, FAB signed a firm order for 28 units of the KC-390 aircraft and initial logistical support.

As a result the FAB will now receive 22 KC-390s until 2034. Embraer delivered the first KC-390 to the FAB in September, 2019. The aircraft was  delivered to the FAB’s First Troop Transport Group (1st GTT).

While the reduced orders for the KC-390 are a blow to Embraer, the new production rates are aligned with the FAB’s budget conditions while allowing Embraer long-term planning with its suppliers. “The benefits of the KC-390 programme are not restrained to the operational gains for the national defense system, but also represent an incremental increase of high value-added products exports, collaborating with Brazil’s trade balance,” an Embraer release said.

The aircraft has already been ordered by Portugal and Hungary, two NATO nations. The Portuguese Air Force (FAP) ordered five KC-390s for US$930 million in 2019 and the aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2023.

Hungary has signed a contract with Embraer for two KC-390s and expect to take delivery of the aircraft in 2023-24. 

The KC-390 can accomplish a wide array of missions, including humanitarian support, medical evacuation, search and rescue, and transporting and launching cargo and troops, in addition to aerial refueling.

The aircraft can carry up to 80 troops (or 66 paratroopers) or accommodate up to 74 stretchers and eight attendants.  It can also be configured to accommodate seven 463L pallets, a combination of pallets and troops, or carry light tanks, vehicles or helicopters. The C-390 can also be reconfigured as both a tanker and receiver aircraft for in-flight refuelling, by day or by night. 

The aircraft are produced at Embraer’s Gavião Peixoto factory, in Brazil’s São Paulo state.

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