The multirole aircraft KC-390, from Embraer, should become a bargaining chip for the order of a second batch of Saab Gripen E/F fighters for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).
This is what the Minister of Defense of Brazil, José Múcio, intends to propose to the Swedish Air Force, which is looking for the military freighter to replace its C-130 Hercules turboprops.
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“We are going to have a meeting with the Swedish Minister of Defense and we are discussing the possibility that, since we bought all this Gripen know-how by the Swedish Saab, we want them to set their sights on the KC-390,” said Múcio in an interview on Monday.
The two heads of defense from Brazil and Sweden will participate, on Tuesday, May 9, in the inauguration ceremony of the assembly line for the F-39 Gripen fighter at Embraer facilities.
Partnership between Saab and Embraer
The technological cooperation agreement was included in the original order for 36 fighters, closed in the 2000s. Recently, there was an extension of the contract for four more aircraft and the first soundings for an additional order for fighter jets, but that was not concluded.
The Swedish Air Force, in turn, gave up purchasing second-hand C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and reopened competition to replace the first-generation turboprops.
At the same time, Saab and Embraer entered into a partnership to enable the sale of the C-390 to Sweden, which was announced at the LAAD defense event, held in Rio de Janeiro in April.
The closer relations between the two manufacturers and the mutual interest of the governments of Brazil and Sweden suggest that the potential order for KC-390 jets is a matter of time.
So far, four air forces have announced orders for the KC-390: Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands (contract still pending) and Brazil.