As expected, Austria will be the new operator of Embraer’s C-390 Millennium airlifter. Confirmation of the choice of the Brazilian aircraft as a replacement for the old C-130K Hercules turboprops was made by the Minister of Defense, Klaudia Tanner, on Wednesday, September 20th.
Alongside Major General Harald Vodosek, Tanner revealed that the country will acquire four C-390 aircraft at a value per unit of between 130 million and 150 million euros.
“Since 2003, the three Hercules aircraft have completed many missions and have always been a reliable transportation device for our soldiers,” said Tanner.
Now it’s time for the Embraer C-390 to replace the C-130 Hercules. Embraer’s aircraft is the only one in the 20-ton class that meets all our needs”, added the minister.
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As revealed by the Kronen Zeitung, the acquisition of the C-390 Millennium will involve the Netherlands, another customer of the twin-engine jet, which must broker the agreement by adding the Austrian units at its own request.
The Austrian government did not clearly cite the arrangement, but stated that it is negotiating collaboration with the Netherlands.
The delivery of the first C-390 should take place between 2026 and 2027 and the signing of the contract in early 2024.
With the future Austrian order, the multi-role aircraft reaches a total of 35 orders, 19 from Brazil, five from Portugal, two from Hungary, five from the Netherlands and the four aircraft to be supllied to Austria.
The Austrian Air Force acquired the three C-130Ks from the United Kingdom in 2003, but the aircraft have been in service for around 56 years and are expensive to maintain. The Brazilian jets will be based in Linz/Hörsching, the government said.