Colombia evaluates purchase of Embraer KC-390, says Brazilian government

Defense Minister José Múcio said that, in addition to Colombia, Sweden has expressed interest in the airlifter

The Embraer KC-390 Millennium had productive days during the LAAD 2023 defense and security event, held in Rio de Janeiro last week.

The airlifter was the reason for a new agreement between the Brazilian company and Saab, to promote the aircraft to the Swedish Air Force, in addition to the aircraft being evaluated by Austria.

Brazil’s new defense minister, José Múcio, however, revealed yet another nation that has shown interest in the multi-role transport jet.

According to Reuters, Múcio commented on the interest of Colombia in the KC-390. “Sweden was expected to give an answer and Colombia is also interested in making an acquisition,” said the minister.

KC-390 Millennium (Embraer)

The minister also said that he participated in 20 bilateral meetings during LAAD and, in some of them, the Embraer plane was the subject. Múcio, however, has not yet celebrated the signing of agreements. “Evidently, these sales need to be planned, studied and evaluated, to have a source of financing, a guarantee.”

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Largest military aircraft produced in Brazil, the C-390/KC-390 has three confirmed customers and one on hold.

In addition to the 19 aircraft ordered for the Brazilian Air Force, Embraer has ordered five from Portugal and two from Hungary. Another country that selected Millennium, the Netherlands, should complete the purchase of five aircraft this year.

Colombian Air Force C-130 Hercules (Aeroprints)

Colombia showed intention to acquire aircraft before

The Colombian Air Force (FAC) has been evaluating the KC-390 for the longest time, however. In 2010, the nation signed a Letter of Intent with Embraer to participate in the aircraft’s development and production program.

At the time, Bogotá also signaled that it could buy up to 12 aircraft. These agreements, however, never went ahead and Colombia did not join the project – at the same time, Chile also negotiated similar agreements that also did not get off the ground.

As has often been the case, Colombia considers the KC-390 a candidate to replace the older C-130 Hercules in service with the FAC, which has operated the four-engined Lockheed aircraft since the 1960s.

Currently, the country has eight aircraft of this type in its fleet (in the B and H versions), purchased second-hand from the United States at different times.


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