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Embraer KC-390 sale to Colombia under review, according to Brazilian officials

Defense Minister José Múcio stated that, apart from Colombia, Sweden has demonstrated interest in the transport aircraft.

During the LAAD 2023 defense and security event held in Rio de Janeiro, the Embraer KC-390 Millennium had a successful run. A new partnership was established between the Brazilian company and Saab to market the plane to the Swedish Air Force, in addition to Austria considering the aircraft.

However, Brazil’s new defense minister, José Múcio, has disclosed that another country has expressed interest in the versatile transport plane. According to Reuters, Múcio remarked on Colombia’s interest in acquiring the KC-390, saying, “Sweden was anticipated to reply, and Colombia is also keen on making a purchase.”

The minister attended 20 bilateral meetings during the LAAD, and the Embraer airplane was the topic of discussion in some of them. However, Múcio has yet to celebrate any agreement signings. He remarked, “Undoubtedly, these sales must be planned, studied, and evaluated to secure financing and guarantees.”

The largest military aircraft manufactured in Brazil, the C-390/KC-390, has three confirmed customers and one on hold. Embraer has placed orders for five from Portugal and two from Hungary, in addition to the 19 aircraft purchased by the Brazilian Air Force. The Netherlands, another country that chose Millennium, is anticipated to finalize the acquisition of five aircraft this year.

The Colombian Air Force (FAC) has been evaluating the KC-390 for the longest time. In 2010, the country signed a Letter of Intent with Embraer to participate in the aircraft’s development and production program. Bogotá also indicated at the time that it might buy up to 12 aircraft, but these agreements were never finalized, and Colombia did not join the project. Chile also negotiated similar agreements that never materialized.

As has been the case before, Colombia sees the KC-390 as a potential replacement for the older C-130 Hercules in use with the FAC, which has operated the four-engine Lockheed aircraft since the 1960s. Currently, the country has eight aircraft of this kind in its fleet (in B and H versions), purchased second-hand from the United States at various times.

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