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Brazil’s Embraer demonstrates its KC-390 in Czech Republic

Czech Pandur II APC onboard a KC-390
Photo: Czech Republic defense ministry

Brazilian aerospace specialist Embraer showcased its KC-390 transport aircraft to Czech Republic officials at the airport in Pardubice on June 6.

Witnessed by Czech Republic defense minister Jana Černochová, the demonstration saw the KC-390 perform a ground and flight demonstration, including the loading and transport of a Pandur II armored vehicle.

The Czech defense ministry noted that this was a non-binding demonstration of the aircraft’s capabilities, with no obligations implied.

Photo: Czech Republic defense ministry

The demonstration in the Czech Republic follows Embraer’s successes with the KC-390 in Hungary and Portugal, both of whom have several airframes on order.

“It is clear that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed the security environment in the world and emphasized the need to implement large-scale modernization projects aimed at strengthening the capabilities of the Czech Army,” the defense ministry said.

“One such project will be the modernization of the squadron of transport aircraft. The Embraer KC-390 demonstration is one step in finding out what the current market for transport aircraft has to offer.”

It is worth noting that the Czech defense ministry already has six Airbus C295 medium airlifters on order for the Czech Air Force. The C295 is much smaller than the KC-390, with a maximum payload of 7 tons, compared to the KC-390’s 26 tons. The KC-390 also offers an aerial refueling capability.

The C-390 Millennium was developed as a joint project between the Brazilian Air Force and Embraer. The aircraft can perform a variety of military and civilian missions, including humanitarian missions, medical evacuation, search and rescue, aerial firefighting, cargo and troop transport, aerial delivery and aerial refueling

Equipped with two International Aero Engines V2500 turbofan engines, a rear ramp and a cargo handling system, the C-390 Millennium is capable of carrying up to 26 metric tons of cargo at a maximum speed of 470 knots (870 km/h), with the ability to operate in austere environments, including from unpaved or damaged runways. The aircraft can carry troops, pallets, armored wheeled vehicles and helicopters.