After four years since receiving its first aircraft, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) reached 10,000 flight hours with its fleet of Embraer KC-390 Millennium.
The milestone was reached a few days ago, according to Embraer, which states that the aircraft has an operational availability of around 80%, with a mission completion rate above 99%.
“The C-390 has been demonstrating its capabilities and reliability on a daily basis. With outstanding performance in a wide range of missions, this multi-mission platform has become the mainstream of FAB’s air mobility. The operational excellence of the C-390 is calling the attention of many Air Forces around the globe”, pointed out Bosco da Costa Junior, President & CEO of Embraer Defense & Security.
“With its exceptional performance and proven versatility, the KC-390 has become Brazilian Air Force’s main air mobility aircraft. We are proud to be part of this achievement, and to be part of the global recognition the aircraft has received as well. Congratulations to everyone involved in this successful journey”, said General (AF) Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno, Brazilian Air Force Commander.
Designed as a more efficient alternative to Lockheed Martin’s popular C-130 Hercules, the C-390 Millennium offers greater payload capacity (26 tons) and performance. Its cruising speed of 407 knots is well above that of its turboprop rival, for example.
The C-390 has also performed a wide range of missions ranging from logistics, transport and launch of cargo and troops, aeromedical evacuation, search and rescue, firefighting and humanitarian missions, operating on temporary or unpaved runways.
One of the most recent missions was to support the evacuation of Brazilian citizens in Israel, amid the conflict between the country’s armed forces and the Palestinian group Hamas.
The aircraft was developed with support from the Brazilian government, which placed an initial order for 28 KC-390s, but reduced it to 19 units during the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022).
In addition to the Brazilian Air Force, Embraer has firm orders from Portugal (five aircraft) and Hungary (two aircraft). Three European countries also selected the multimission jet: the Netherlands, Austria and this week the Czech Republic, which, together, are expected to close agreements for 11 C-390s.