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Brazil receives first C-390 in ‘full operational capability’ configuration

Photo: Embraer

Brazilian defense and aerospace company Embraer announced on June 16 it delivered the sixth C-390 multi-mission aircraft to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).

While the delivery marked the handover of the sixth airframe, the latest C-390 is the first aircraft delivered in the full operational capability (FOC) configuration.

The FOC certificate confirms that the project meets all the requirements defined by the FAB and that the aircraft can carry out all missions for which it was designed.

The other aircraft already delivered to the FAB will be updated to operate with their full capabilities. In addition, all aircraft to be exported could receive these capabilities, the company said.

First Troop Transport Group (1º GTT), based in the Anápolis Air Force Base, will operate the sixth aircraft. All the aircraft ordered by the FAB are prepared to carry out aerial refueling missions, with the designation KC-390 Millennium.

“It is special to deliver the first aircraft in the FOC configuration to FAB,” said Bosco da Costa Junior, President and CEO of Embraer’s Defense & Security. “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 C-390 is a military tactical transport aircraft that C-390 can carry 26 tons of payload and fly at speeds of 470 knots, performing a wide range of missions such as transporting and dropping cargo and troops, medical evacuation, search and rescue, firefighting, and humanitarian missions, operating on temporary or unpaved runways (i.e., including packed earth, soil, and gravel).

The refueling version of the aircraft has already proven its aerial refueling capacity, as well as an aircraft receiving fuel from another KC-390 using pods installed under the wings.

Since entering operation with FAB, in 2019, the current fleet of five aircraft, all in the KC-390 aerial refueling version, has already accumulated more than 8,900 flight hours. Recent figures show an operational availability of around 80%, with a mission completion rate above 99%, demonstrating exceptional productivity in the category.

The C-390 Millennium has orders from Portugal and Hungary, both NATO member countries. The Netherlands, also a member of NATO, selected the C-390 Millennium in 2022.