The Portuguese government has placed an order for 5 Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft, deliveries of which are scheduled to begin in 2023.
“The Portuguese KC-390 will meet new interoperability requirements, in the areas of secure navigation, data and voice transmission that will allow the KC-390 to integrate joint operations in multinational alliances in which Portugal is integrated,” said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security.
The other aircraft in the race were Lockheed Martin’s C130J and Airbus’ A400. It was speculated that Lisbon may pick either of the two aircraft if the Embraer proved to be out of the budget.
“The state does not want to see beyond 830 million euros ($945 million). We are in negotiation and the opinion prevails that, if Embraer does not comply with this amount, the State will have to look for other options,” the Chief of Portuguese Air Force General Staff (CEMFA) General Manuel Rolo said, in January of this year.
Asked by the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) deputy António Filipe about whether there is "a plan B" if the negotiations with Embraer failed, General Manuel Rolo said that the "B plan that may exist is to look at other aircraft that exist in the market."
"So suddenly, it's the C-130 J and the A400M," he had said, noting that the A400M "is an excellent, larger aircraft but has also had a lot of problems consolidating."
The Embraer KC-390 tactical transport aircraft can perform a variety of missions such as cargo and troop transport, troop and cargo air delivery, aerial refuelling, search and rescue and forest fire fighting.