The Government announced today the purchase of five KC-390 aircraft, replacing the Hercules C-130, from the Brazilian company Embraer, for a total of 827 million euros.
The Cabinet approved on Thursday the acquisition of five KC-390 aircraft, in an operation that assumes a cost of 827 million euros, announced the Minister of Defense, João Gomes Cravinho.
The Portuguese State had threatened to abandon the KC-390 aircraft acquisition project if Embraer did not lower the requested values. The deal eventually materialized in line with the maximum amount that the Air Force had set for this operation (830 million euros) and was provided for in the Military Programming Act.
The deal, made with the Brazilian Embraer, also presupposes the “hiring of logistics support services for aircraft and flight simulator and the acquisition of electronic warfare equipment”, says a statement from the Council of Ministers on Thursday, 11 July.
The deal also includes the acquisition of a flight simulator and the maintenance of aircraft for the first 12 years of life. According to the Minister of National Defense, quoted by Lusa, it is also planned to maintain aircraft for the first 12 years of life.
The first of these cargo and transport aircraft, replacements of the Hercules C-130, is scheduled to be delivered to the Portuguese Air Force in February 2023, followed by one each year until February 2027.
“This is a moment of great satisfaction. We can announce the resolution of the Council of Ministers granting expenditure authorization for the acquisition of five KC-390 aircraft and one simulator and maintenance contracts over the first 12 years of the life of these aircraft.” “It is a culmination of a long process of dialogue with Embraer, of partnership and joint work in the development of the aircraft and, on the other hand, a negotiation work for pricing and technical specifications,” said the guardian, quoted above. by Lusa.
According to Gomes Cravinho, “the KC-390 will replace the 40-year-old C-130 fleet that is on the verge of being usable,” with “dual-use – civil and military, including firefighting.”
“We will inaugurate an aircraft that has innovative features because it is intercontinental in range. It is a two-engine aircraft, but with capabilities that normally only four-engine aircraft can achieve,” he said.
The Defense Minister noted that the current C-130 “has a few years to go” with “a high degree of technological obsolescence” but will still be able to stay active.
“The acquisition of the KC-390 aircraft and a flight simulator, and their logistical support, with the Air Force’s technical, operational and logistical configurations and specifications, will enhance existing air transport, search and rescue, evacuations capabilities. and support to national citizens, notably between the Continent and the Archipelagos, including also the additional flight refueling and forest fire fighting and military).
“The unique characteristics of the KC-390 aircraft set a new standard for strategic military transport, which has hitherto only been attained by larger and larger four-engined aircraft, thus constituting in this class the solution that meets requirements fully defined by the Portuguese State, as well as those required for participation in military operations that may derive from the alliances of which Portugal is a member. ”
The Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CEMFA), General Manuel Rolo Military Programming Law, said in January in Parliament that Embraer was “asking for much more than would reasonably.
This is the amount that is included in the Military Programming Law (LPM), which in total provides for investments of 4.74 billion euros by 2030.
Already in March, the Defense Minister had announced that the purchase of the five KC – 390s was in an “advanced negotiation process”, reiterating that the value entered was non – negotiable.
The KC-390 is manufactured by the Brazilian Embraer, but has strong participation of Portuguese engineering and was also supported by the Portuguese state, which allocated the project 20.8 million euros.
The aircraft was presented on June 2016 at the OGMA workshops in Alverca. Announced as the largest Portuguese aeronautical project, it has national incorporation of over 56% and over 450,000 hours of Portuguese engineering.
Embraer, which has a factory in Évora, hired the Aeronautical Engineering Company (EEA) for this project, which in turn outsourced CEIIA, for aircraft structural components and other work packages associated with the central fuselage.
A year after the show, the KC-390 was one of the stars of the Paris air show, one of the largest aeronautics events in the world.