BUDAPEST, (BM) – After the Brazilian company Embraer delivered the first C-390 Millennium air tanker to the Brazilian Air Force in July this year, it became clear only three days ago that Hungary was the second foreign customer to buy two tankers of the same model and would expect their delivery over the next three years, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
According to information spread in the Hungarian media, Hungary and the Brazilian manufacturer have agreed to manufacture and supply two of the air tankers, but in a configuration for the possibility of refueling other aircraft in the air with fuel, or better known as “air-to-air refueling” [AAR]. Sources from Hungary claim that the agreed price between the two parties to the contract also includes the training of pilots and engineering technicians and support staff, as well as other additional specific activities.
Sources from the Hungarian Ministry of Defense claim that the two air tankers will perform various missions of the Hungarian Air Force – from military missions and air reloading, through humanitarian and medical, to missions of public interest.
Hungary has made no secret of its satisfaction with the deal, and judging by the statements of various officials, the country has clearly experienced difficulties in this area. At least that is the impression of the statement of the Government Commissioner for Defense Development Gaspar Marot, who says that the Hungarian Defense Forces will start carrying out military missions with a complete cycle and a wide range of action.
The Brazilian company also expressed its satisfaction with the deal and said it was “an honor to be selected to provide an aircraft capable of performing many different missions.”
However, Hungary will be the first nation in the world to buy two C-390 aircraft with a specially built intensive care unit that meets Hungarian requirements for humanitarian missions to be carried out through the aircraft. Also, according to military analysts, this type of aircraft will be able to perform search and rescue missions in conflict zones. Experts reassure the military community that the S-390 is fully compliant with NATO requirements, including avionics and radio and telecommunications. It is important to note that the Brazilians have chosen a special model of the refueling probe, which in turn meets the requirements of the Hungarian Gripen fighters.
The first foreign customer was Portugal, which signed a contract for the supply of five units of the same air tanker. All of them are expected to be on combat duty in the Portuguese Air Force in three years. Brazil is already heavily exploiting the C-390 Millennium, with several military missions behind it.
KC-390 is designed for transporting troops and cargo, landing, refueling airplanes and helicopters in the air, conducting search and rescue operations, medical evacuation, fire fighting, as well as supporting humanitarian missions. It is possible to equip the aircraft with containers with electron-optical / infrared surveillance equipment for use in search and rescue operations.
The first prototype KC-390 completed its first flight on February 3, 2015. On October 9, 2018, flight tests of the first production KC-390 began. The first KC-390 aircraft (born FAB 2853) was handed over to the Brazilian Air Force on September 4, 2019, and the second on December 13, 2019. KC-390 can transport 26 tons of cargo, develop a maximum speed of 470 knots [870 km / h], and can be used on unpaved or damaged runways. The range with 23 tons of cargo is 1380 nautical miles [2556 km], the ferry range with internal tanks is 4640 nautical miles.
The practical ceiling is 11 km. The KC-390 is equipped with two International Aero Engines V2500-E5 turbojet twin-engine engines [turbojet engines], the latest avionics, a rear ramp, an advanced cargo handling system, and Leonardo Gabbiano radar. Typical payloads include 80 military personnel or 66 paratroopers; three armored vehicles of the Humvee type or one UH-60 Black Hawk multipurpose helicopter; two BBM M-ATVs or one BBM “Boxer”, “Stryker”, BMP-3 or AMV. The aircraft can be equipped with removable internal fuel tanks and underwing container refueling systems, receive fuel from other tankers.
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