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03:21 PM, July 28, 2017
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The Portuguese Council of Ministers on July 27 authorized the defense ministry to open negotiations to buy five Embaer KC-390 twinjet tanker-transports with an option for a sixth aircraft.

Along with five aircraft purchase, The Cabinet resolution, now published in the Portuguese government gazette, Diário da República, also mentions logistics support and a Category-D full-flight simulator to be installed and operated in Portugal, Defense Aerospace reports.

"This reinforces the current capabilities of air transport, search and rescue, humanitarian evacuations and support for the Portuguese citizens, between the Continent and the Archipelagos," reads the resolution, which adds that this acquisition will bring additional in-flight refueling and fire-fighting capabilities, enabling Portugal to operate dual-use (civilian and military) aircraft that meet the country's permanent requirements.

The talks could lead to Embraer's first foreign sale of the KC-390, adding to a firm order for 28 aircraft placed by the Brazilian air force in 2014.

Portugal is among five countries that have agreed to buy the KC-390 since 2010, along with Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Czech Republic.

Portugal was involved in the KC-390 development and production though its state-owned aerospace company, OGMA. Portugal also invested 30 million euros in the KC-390 program between 2012 and 2015, and is one of the program’s cooperative partners, along with the Czech Republic and Argentina.

“Having contributed to the very significant progress of the project's development phase, [Portugal] expects to play a key role in the commercial success of the production phase, which is of particular importance for the potential benefits of industrial development and exports,” the cabinet resolution added.

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