Brazilian Air Force (FAB) has formally received the first of its 28 ordered Embraer KC-390 multi-mission aircraft, set to replace Brazil's ageing fleet of C-130 Hercules planes.
The KC-390 was developed as a joint project between the FAB and Embraer after Brazil sealed a deal for 28 Embraer aircraft and initial logistical support in 2014. It was later extended to include comprehensive five-year services and support from Embraer side. The company is responsible for logistical and engineering support, maintenance control, component repair, support staff for the aircraft entry into service, materials supply and an additional package that includes structural analysis, maintenance bulletin development, and aircraft painting, among other services.
The KC-390 was granted the Type Certificate by the Brazilian civil aviation authority ANAC (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil) in 2018, when it achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC), which ensures that the necessary conditions have been met for the aircraft to start operations.
The KC-390 can perform missions such as aerial refuelling, medical evacuation, search and rescue, forest fire fighting, and transportation of cargo and troops. Equipped with two International Aero Engines V2500 turbofan engines, the latest avionics, a rear ramp, and an advanced cargo handling system, the KC-390 is capable of carrying up to 26 metric tons of cargo at a maximum speed of 470 knots (870 km/h).
The performance of the KC-390 benefits from a modern fly-by-wire control system with integrated technology that lowers the workload of the crew and increases the safety of its operation.
Furthermore, the KC-390 can refuel other aircraft in flight, with the installation of removable internal fuel tanks. The aircraft can also be refuelled in flight, thus providing greater flexibility for longer missions. An advanced self-defense system increases the aircraft’s survival capability in hostile environments.