The Hungarian Government signed today a contract for the acquisition of two new generation Embraer C-390 Millennium multipurpose transport aircraft, in the air-to-air refuelling (RAA) configuration: the KC-390. Hungary is the second NATO country, after Portugal decides to acquire five new Embraer aircraft, to choose the KC-390 for its Armed Forces.
The KC-390 is the largest aeronautical project in which Portugal participates. The aircraft developed by the Brazilian company Embraer has 56% of Portuguese incorporation and involves 35 entities from the Portuguese defence industry, producing 350 highly qualified direct jobs in companies such as OGMA or CEiiA. For example, the Empresa de Engenharia Aeronáutica (EEA), which in turn subcontracted to CEIIA, and OGMA produce the aircraft’s structural components and other work packages associated with the aircraft’s central fuselage.
Portuguese intelligence and research centres such as the University of Minho, the Instituto Superior Técnico, the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto and the University of Beira Interior were also involved in this large aeronautical project in Portugal.
The long partnership between Portugal, the national defence industry and Embraer – which has a factory in Évora – allowed for a strong bet on the development and production of the aircraft that is now beginning to conquer the preferences of the military of various countries, within and outside NATO, and which continues to ensure work, qualified employment and exports to Portugal.
The Portuguese Government invested 85 million euros in this project with the aim of ensuring “Portugal’s interest in participating in the development and production program of the KC-390 multipurpose transport aircraft as a factor in the development of the national Defence Technological and Industrial Base for the aeronautical sector and, to that extent, assume the role of mobilising vector for the promotion of the national aeronautical cluster”, according to a resolution of the Council of Ministers from 2018.
Embraer’s C-390 is a tactical transport jet aircraft designed to set new standards in its class. The plane is distinguished by its great mobility, robust design, flexibility, state-of-the-art technology and light maintenance. With more speed and greater load capacity, the C-390 Millennium and the KC-390 variant require minimal scheduled maintenance interventions and are equipped with highly reliable systems and components, reducing downtime and keeping costs low throughout its life cycle.