Brazil Receives First C-390 Transport Aircraft in Full Operational Configuration

The Brazilian Air Force has taken delivery of its sixth C-390 Millennium military transport aircraft from Embraer.

The aircraft is the country’s first in the full operational capability (FOC) configuration, confirming that it meets all requirements set by the service.

According to the company, the newly-delivered C-390 can now carry out all missions for which it was designed, including cargo transport and aerial refueling.

“It is special to deliver the first aircraft in the FOC configuration to FAB (Brazilian Air Force),” Embraer President Bosco da Costa Junior said in a press release.

“Although FAB has already deployed the aircraft in various different missions, inside Brazil and abroad, it will now be able to fully and definitively take advantage of the full capacity of the C-390, showing the world everything that this aircraft can deliver.”

The aircraft’s designation is KC-390 Millennium in Brazil, and it will be operated by the First Troop Transport Group.

The remaining five C-390s in the air force’s fleet will be updated to full operational capabilities, according to Embraer.

About the C-390

Embraer describes its C-390 as the “most modern” military transport aircraft of the new generation.

It features a multi-mission platform that provides improved mobility, flexibility, and high productivity at a low cost.

The aircraft carries up to 26 tons (26,000 kilograms/2,000 pounds) of payload and flies at more than 470 knots (870 kilometers/541 miles per hour).

Additionally, the C-390 can support medical evacuation, search and rescue, and humanitarian missions, even on temporary or unpaved runways.

In Brazil, the heavy-lift plane is primarily used as an aerial refueler, boasting a mission completion rate above 99 percent.

Embraer KC-390 Millennium
KC-390 Millennium. Photo: Embraer

Reduced Order

The Brazilian Air Force originally wanted to procure 28 C-390 aircraft from Embraer to establish a substantial fleet of cargo planes and aerial refuellers.

However, due to budget woes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the service announced that it would only procure 22.

It said that the move is “much less traumatic” and ensures the service’s operational needs are still met.

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