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Colombia considers acquisition of Embraer KC-390, as Brazil pushes for deal

The Embraer KC-390 Millennium had a successful presence at the recent LAAD 2023 defense and security event in Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian company signed a new agreement with Saab to market the aircraft to the Swedish Air Force, and Austria is also considering its potential.

In addition, Brazil’s Defense Minister, José Múcio, revealed that both Sweden and Colombia have expressed interest in acquiring the multi-role transport jet. During LAAD, Múcio participated in 20 bilateral meetings where the KC-390 was discussed, but he cautioned that any sales would need careful planning, study, and evaluation, including financing and guarantees.

The KC-390 is Brazil’s largest military aircraft and has three confirmed customers, with one on hold. In addition to the 19 planes ordered by the Brazilian Air Force, Portugal and Hungary have ordered five and two aircraft, respectively. The Netherlands has also selected the Millennium and plans to purchase five planes this year.

Colombia has shown interest in the KC-390 before, having signed a Letter of Intent in 2010 to participate in the aircraft’s development and production program, with the potential to buy up to 12 planes. However, these agreements did not proceed, and Chile also explored similar agreements that did not materialize.

The KC-390 is seen as a candidate to replace Colombia’s aging fleet of C-130 Hercules planes, which have been in service since the 1960s. Colombia currently operates eight C-130s of various versions, purchased second-hand from the United States at different times.

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