The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) received only one proposal, from the Azul carrier, for the sale of two Airbus A330-200 jets in the KC-X3 competition, to convert them to the MRTT standard, for aerial refueling.
The documents were delivered by the airline to the Brazilian Aeronautical Commission, in Washington (US) but the proposal itself will only be opened on Wednesday, 9th, in a new session to be held at the same location.
The first phase of the program involved only the Inviation for Bid (IFB), from which more than 50 potential participants requested details about the project. But only Azul sent representatives to the meeting, held on March 7.
Despite this, the bidding committee decided to proceed with the process, as provided for in the public notice. With the opening of the envelope with the financial details of the Brazilian airline’s proposal, the FAB will then analyze its feasibility within the budget and requirements defined last year.
Aircraft manufactured from 2014
According to the website Planespotters, Azul has eight active A330-200s in its fleet, but all are leased from companies such as CIT and Wilmington Trust SP Services.
The Air Force launched the KC-X3 bid in late January with the intention of spending up to $80.6 million for two used A330 jets manufactured after January 2014.
The aircraft cannot have more than 28,000 flight hours and 4,200 cycles in addition to being equipped with engines supplied by Rolls-Royce or General Electric.
The choice of the Airbus model was made without further details by the Air Force, which in theory could carry out a more open competition, with the participation of Boeing jets.
The MRTT (Multirole Tanker Transport) is an Airbus-exclusive conversion process that can equip the A330 with two wing refueling probes and also a rigid boom, in a standard used by the US Air Force, for example.
Since leasing a Boeing 767-300 between 2016 and 2019, the FAB aims to have a large, long-range transport aircraft again.
Situations such as the repatriation of Brazilians who were in Ukraine this week have led the FAB to carry out flights with many stops due to the limited range of its aircraft.
The KC-390 scheduled for this mission, for example, is flying to Warsaw, Poland, from Brasilia, with the need to make three stops along the way. In addition, the Embraer jet has a much lower payload capacity than the A330.