The first KC-390 of the Portuguese Air Force is on its way to Europe. With provisional registration PT-ZDK, Embraer’s multi-mission jet must go to OGMA, a subsidiary of the Brazilian company that will install standard NATO equipment.
The aircraft took off from Embraer’s facilities in Gavião Peixoto bound for Recife, where it made the first technical stopover for refueling. After that, it left again towards Sal International Airport, in the archipelago of Cape Verde, and then headed to Portugal on Sunday morning.
The Portuguese Air Force ordered five KC-390s in 2019 to replace its aging C-130 Hercules turboprops. The aircraft has components produced in the country as it is one of the partners in the Brazilian program.
After receiving the necessary equipment to operate within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the KC-390 must still undergo a certification process by the National Aeronautical Authority.
Portugal will be the first country to operate the military cargo jet, after Brazil, which received the first airlifter in 2019. The first aircraft is expected to enter service in early 2023.