The Embraer KC-390 in flight. (Embraer)
Portugal is set to acquire five Embraer KC-390s and a KC-390 simulator, with the first delivery planned for early 2023.
The KC-390s will be equipped with a fully interactive Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion suite that will deliver "intuitive human-machine interfaces, enhancing productivity and safety" for the transport aircraft, according to a representative for Embraer. The aircraft is equipped with a fly-by-wire system, which has already been tested and can optionally be equipped with self-defense systems.
Portugal's Council of Ministers said in a statement that the KC-390s, which are expected to replace the country's older Lockheed C-130H Hercules, will be used to "reinforce the current capabilities of air transport, search and rescue, sanitary evacuations and support to national citizens, particularly between the Mainland and the Archipelagos, including additional in-flight refueling and fire-fighting capabilities, which enables Portugal to have dual-use aircraft."
The Embraer representative indicated that no more specific plans for the KC-390 were available.
The Brazilian Air Force will receive its first KC-390 this year, according to Embraer. The aircraft has been in a test flight stage since 2015, during which time it has amassed over 2,000 flight hours. It is currently progressing "extremely well" through final certification, the spokesperson said. It has already received a provisional type certificate from the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency.
The Kc-390 is equipped with V3500 turbofan engines by International Aero Engines which push it to speeds topping 600 mph with a claimed range of more than 3,700 miles. With a full load of nearly 29 tons on board, it is capable of reaching 540 mph.