As was considered a few months ago, the Czech Republic confirmed the selection of the Embraer C-390 Millennium airlifter as its new military transport aircraft.
The announcement was made on Tuesday by the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces of the European country. The agreement will still be negotiated with Embraer and provides for the acquisition of two aircraft.
Planned missions include air assault, aerial refueling, medical evacuation, humanitarian aid and firefighting operations. The new aircraft will operate alongside six C295 turboprops.
“We are honored to be selected by the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces to start negotiating on this significant acquisition and we are ready to provide the most advanced medium transport aircraft available in the market to the Czech Republic”, said Bosco da Costa Junior, President and CEO, Embraer Defense & Security. “The C-390 Millennium is drawing the attention of several nations around the world due to its unbeatable combination of high productivity and operating flexibility with low operating costs.”
The Czech Republic had already given indications that it would choose the Brazilian aircraft, developed as a replacement for old C-130 Hercules turboprops and similar aircraft. More capable (payload of 26 tons) and faster (cruising speed of 407 knots), the C-390 also offers a lower operating cost, according to the manufacturer.
The production of the aircraft relies on the supply of parts by the Czech company Aero Vodochody, which produces the leading edge of the wings, cabin doors, loading ramp and part of the rear fuselage. Since 2010, the country has been one of the model’s potential customers.
“A specific step was to begin negotiations with the aim of achieving the lowest possible price and at the same time the shortest possible delivery time. At the same time, I am pleased that the Czech company AERO Vodochody has been involved in the production of components for Embraer C-390 aircraft for several years,” said Minister of Defense Jana Černochová.
Embraer carried out several KC-390 visits to the Czech Republic, including demonstrating the transport of a Pandur II armored vehicle.
With the new announcement, the C-390 Millennium now has six customers who together have ordered or are in the process of purchasing 37 aircraft.
Brazil leads the list, as expected, with 19 aircraft, six of which have already been delivered, followed by Portugal (five jets), the Netherlands (5), Hungary (2), Austria (4) and now the Czech Republic, with two aircraft .