The war between Ukraine and Russia has been a reason for many nations around the world, especially in Europe, to rethink their military inventories.
The scenario, although worrying in the geopolitical sphere, may open opportunities for Embraer Defense and Security.
Asked by AIRWAY in a conference call for results on Monday about the manufacturer’s expectations regarding new sales of the KC-390 Millennium, Francisco Gomes Neto, CEO of Embraer, cited the conflict in Eastern Europe as a reason that may influence the emergence of more customers for the multi-mission aircraft manufactured in Brazil.
“We have several campaigns for the KC-390, even as a result of the conflict in Europe. Many countries are showing interest in the KC-390”, replied Gomes Neto, without revealing which nations are interested in the Millennium. However, there are indications that point out which countries may want the Brazilian tactical transport aircraft.
During a public hearing in the Senate in May, the Commander of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), Lieutenant-Brigadier Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno, pointed out that there were “quite advanced conversations” about the sale of the KC-390 to at least eight countries: South Africa, Austria, South Korea, Egypt, India, Czech Republic, Rwanda and Sweden.
In service since 2019 with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), which ordered 19 aircraft (and has already received six aircraft), the KC-390 also has firm orders from Portugal (five aircraft) and Hungary (two units). Another country that selected the Embraer aircraft was the Netherlands, but the purchase contract has not yet been signed.
Regarding the agreement with the Dutch, the president of Embraer commented: “Our expectation is to conclude the contract with the Netherlands later this year, in Q4 [fourth quarter]”.
The Royal Dutch Air Force plans to purchase five examples of the KC-390, which was chosen in the country to replace Lockheed Martin’s aging fleet of C-130 Hercules turboprops.