On June 26, the European Defense Fund announced an investment of 30 million Euros to boost the FASETT project (Future Air System for European Tactic Transport), which could lead to a new tactical freighter of the same category as the Embraer KC-390 Millennium.
The initiative, which involves 33 European companies, is led by Airbus Defense & Space, which also manufactures the A400M Atlas, the main tactical transport aircraft for several air forces on the continent.
The initial phase of the project should last for the next 18 months, during which a technical and market feasibility analysis will be carried out. If approved, the complete development of the aircraft is expected to take place between 2030 and 2040.
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The European press informally calls the plane “A200M”, suggesting a compact version of the Airbus A400M Atlas.
The FASETT is proposed to replace military transport aircraft in service with the armed forces of European Union nations, such as the C-130 Hercules, Leonardo C-27 Spartan and Airbus C295.
Details on powertrain and performance are yet to be defined. It is only said that the device resulting from the project must be able to complement the activities of the A400M, which is a large and long-range multi-mission aircraft – and therefore more expensive.
In the search for new tactical transport aircraft, air forces in Europe have been divided between the C-130J and the KC-390.
For now, the Brazilian aircraft has already been ordered by Portugal and Hungary, in addition to being selected by the Netherlands – which should complete the purchase of the Millennium this year.
The FASETT project, therefore, can break this hegemony in the category that basically has only Lockheed Martin and Embraer aircraft options.