Delivery of First Dutch C-390 Military Transport Aircraft Delayed

The Netherlands said the delivery of its first C-390 Millennium military transport aircraft will be delayed by over a year due to ongoing negotiations with a potential procurement partner.

Defense secretary Christophe Van der Maat told the Dutch parliament that the original 2026 delivery of the C-390 will slide to late-2027 because the country plans to jointly purchase the planes with Austria.

Vienna, which announced in September 2023 its planned procurement of four C-390s from Embraer, is expected to place an official order this year.

With the joint purchase, Amsterdam is hoping for a much lower acquisition cost for a fleet of five C-390s. Van der Maat said the initial total value agreed upon is 1.7 billion euros ($1.8 billion).

The Netherlands will receive the remaining four Millennium transport aircraft under order before 2030.

Initial Operational Capability by 2028

The C-390s will replace the aging C-130H Hercules aircraft in the Dutch military inventory.

The C-130 fleet was initially expected to retire between 2031 and 2033, but the defense ministry plans to change this decision.

“The approaching end of the operational and technical life combined with frequent use of the [Hercules] aircraft due to global geopolitical developments has led the defense department to decide to replace this capability early,” Van der Maat said.

Once delivered, the first Dutch Millennium will be poised to receive initial operational capability by 2028 and full operational capability by 2030.

The aircraft will be stationed at Eindhoven Air Base in the southern Netherlands.

About the C-390

First showcased at the Farnborough Airshow in 2018, the Brazilian-made C-390 is a medium-weight transport aircraft equipped with modern avionics and cargo carrying capabilities.

It boasts twin turbofan engines that can be configured in less than three hours to accommodate a variety of missions.

With a payload capacity of 26 tons, it can fly at 470 knots (870 kilometers/540 miles per hour) at a maximum altitude of 10,973 meters (36,000 feet).

In addition to transport missions, the plane can be used for humanitarian support, medical evacuation, search and rescue, and aerial refueling.

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