Portugal’s National Defense Minister João Gomes Cravinho and Embraer Defesa e Segurança President Jackson Schneider today (Aug 22), in the presence of Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, signed an acquisition contract by the Portuguese Air Force of five KC-390 aircraft and one flight simulator produced by the Brazilian state-run company, according to Brazil’s Foreign Ministry.
Acquisition costs add up to $916.8 million, to be paid by 2030. The aircraft will replace the Hercules C-130 planes, manufactured by US firm Lockheed Martin, which have been used for 40 years and little service life left.
The contract had been approved by a Portuguese ministerial council on July 11, 2019, and also includes the relevant logistic services.
The move makes Portugal the second company (after Brazil) to operate KC-390 aircraft, planes for tactical and logistic transport and in-flight refueling, developed and manufactured by Embraer Defesa e Segurança. The aircraft will allow the Portuguese Air Force to bolster its capacity for transport, search and rescue, sanitary actions, logistic support from the continent and archipelagos (the Azores and Madeira), in-flight refueling, and plans to fight wildfire.
The cooperation forged by Portuguese firms, which will produce some of the components for the KC-390 in their territory, is viewed as a key stride towards internationalizing the Brazilian air sector. In addition to bringing the excellence of Brazil’s air and defense industry to the forefront, the acquisition of the five aircraft shows the success of the joint enterprise after the entry of a state-of-the-art Brazilian product of civil and military use into the market of a NATO country.