Portugal C 390 Millennium 29601 delivery credit FAP 640Delivery of first Portuguese Air Force Millennium

On 19 October 2023 at around 16:30 hrs LT, the first Embraer (K)C-390 Millennium for the Força Aérea Portuguesa (FAP, Portuguese Air Force) arrived at Base Aérea (BA) 11 Beja. The aircraft had departed Brazil one day earlier and the new transporter made a nightstop at Amilcar Cabral, Sal Island (Cape Verde).

The aircraft, serial 26901 (c/n 390000011), will be operated by Esquadra 506 'Rinocerontes (Rhinos)'. The transatlantic flight marked the beginning of the operational activity of the new transporter.

The same aircraft, then still marked with test registration PT-ZDK, arrived in Portugal on 16 October 2022. The aircraft returned to Brazil six days later to complete its flight testing.

On 1 July 2019, the Portuguese government confirmed the deal with Embraer for acquiring five (K)C-390 transporters. The contract is valued at USD 930 million (827 million euros), and besides the aircraft, a flight simulator and maintenance service will be provided for a period of twelve years. According to the planning, the Millenniums will be delivered from 2023 to 2027, at the rate of one aircraft per year.

The air-to-air refueling (AAR) configuration, designated the KC-390, has demonstrated its capabilities during operations with the Brazilian Air Force. It is cleared to refuel several different fighter aircraft and is also able to refuel other KC-390s using the underwing pods. It is not known if the aircraft is already configured for this role.

Credit photo: Força Aérea Portuguesa

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