Announced by President Jair Bolsonaro, the acquisition of two Airbus A330 aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) was blocked by the Ministry of Economy. The intention was to use financial resources recovered from previous cases of corruption to seek widebodies in the foreign market.
However, the amount requested by the Ministry of Defense of Brazil (about $88 million) was considered unenforceable because it did not meet the precepts of urgency, unpredictability and relevance provided for in the Constitution for the edition of Provisional Measure that would release extraordinary resources, according to revealed the local newspaper O Globo.
The Defense argued that “the occurrence of new logistical collapses in the health system in regions and municipalities that are difficult to access by land presents itself as possible, although of unpredictable dimensions, and will demand immediate responses from the Brazilian State.”
In January, a second wave of infections in Manaus, a city in the middle of the Amazon jungle, led to a collapse in the supply of oxygen cylinders. The Brazilian Air Force, which only has small capacity transport planes, had logistical difficulties in supplying the necessary medical supplies.
Currently, the FAB has only four KC-390 in addition to ten C-130 and nine C-105 turboprops (Airbus C295), among other smaller aircraft.
Until 2018, Brazil operated a rented Boeing 767-300 jet that temporarily replaced the KC-137, former 707 used by the extinct airline Varig.
The low amount suggests that the Air Force intends to purchase used aircraft and not specialized variants of the A330, such as the MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport), which can carry out aerial refueling.
Since 2013, the Brazilian government has tried to carry out international competition for the supply of large jets, but the most recent bid was canceled last year.