The Portuguese Government has decided to proceed with the purchase of five Embraer KC-390 aircraft to replace the current C-130 fleet.

Portugal buys Embraer KC-390
Embraer KC-390

The Council of Ministers has authorized the start of negotiations with Embraer Defense and Security SA for the acquisition of five KC-390s, plus an option for additional one aicraft, and a flight simulator (CAT D full-light simulator).

The total value of the supply and deadlines have not been declared.

The aircraft will replace the C-130 fleet of the Portuguese Air Force and can be used for freight and troop transport, in-flight refueling, search and rescue, and also to fend off fires in Valenza.

The ability of the KC-390 to be used in direct fire combat greatly affects the Portuguese government, in the future the Portuguese Air Force might have to take part in this type of missions.

The negotiations will include all the logistic supports and customizations required by the Portuguese Air Force.

The Embraer KC-390 is a medium-size, twin-engine jet-powered military transport aircraft able to perform aerial refuelling and to transport cargo and troops. It is the heaviest aircraft that the Brazilian company has made to date, and will be able to transport up to 29 tons of cargo, including wheeled armoured fighting vehicles.

In April 2013, six countries had commitments for 60 KC-390s: Argentina (6), Brazil (28), Chile (6), Colombia (12), Czech Republic (2), and Portugal (6).

In November 2016, Embraer responded to a Request For Information (RFI) for replacing the Royal New Zealand Air Force's five C-130 Hercules by offering five KC-390s. Embraer CEO Jack Schneider stated the company was in advanced talks on offering the KC-390 to New Zealand. A decision is expected in mid 2017.

Embraer will show in flight and static display the KC-390 during the coming Paris Air Show 2017.

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