Brazilian Air Force KC-390 Millennium

Embraer aims to assemble 12 C-390 airlifters per year by 2030

Aircraft has been winning new orders, but still depends on more agreements to fill production slots

Embraer intends to produce one C-390 Millennium per month until 2030, Walter Pinto Júnior, chief operating office (COO) of the Defense and Security division, revealed to the Brazilian media.

The statement was made to the Folha de São Paulo newspaper on Wednesday, during a press event originally intended to present the first Gripen fighter jet being assembled in the country.

Saab uses an area at the Embraer facilities in Gavião Peixoto, where the airlifter assembly line is also located.

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Embraer currently has the capacity to complete six C-390s per year, but has not yet reached this goal. Only seven aircraft have been delivered since 2019, six to Brazil and one to Portugal.

C-390 Millennium assembly line (Saab)

The first of two KC-390 Millenniums from Hungary is about to be officially delivered, in addition to a second jet for Portugal and the seventh and eighth examples from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), which has 19 firm orders.

There are also 14 requests sent to the Netherlands (5), Austria (4), Czech Republic (2) and South Korea (3).

Therefore, the demand for 40 aircraft can in theory be met by 2028 even with an annual production rate of six aircraft.

Illustration of the C-390 in Saudi Arabian markings (Social media)

Expected orders

After a 2023 with several agreements revealed, Embraer reaches the end of the first half of the year with no new sales announcements for the C-390.

There is expectation, however, for the closing of two orders, the first from Uzbekistan, which has already started procedures for financing two C-390s, and Sweden, whose air force is close to a decision on the replacement of its C-130H turboprops.

All of these deals involve a small number of aircraft, however. The two biggest competitions that Embraer participates in, in Saudi Arabia and India, establish that the winner must be manufactured in partnership with local companies.

While the Saudis can close orders for up to 33 aircraft, the Indians are evaluating a package of between 40 and 80 units.


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