Brazil to cut back KC-390 order

Brazil has announced it will reduce its Embraer KC-390 Millennium order in light of new budget restrictions brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic, which have led to cutbacks on resources allocated to the defence sector.  

A press release from the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB, Brazilian Air Force) on May 26 said that the air arm will be reviewing the KC-390 production contract with Embraer. The release states that “the main issue concerns the expected number of 28 aircraft under the current contract, which at this moment, has proved to be superior to the budgetary reality of the force, both for acquisition and for logistical support over time.”

Brazilian KC-390s [Brazilian Air Force]
The Brazilian Air Force has accepted four KC-390s to date, the most recent having been delivered on December 19, 2020. FAB (Brazilian Air Force)

Following studies and budgetary analysis, the FAB said it will begin negotiations with Embraer to amend the current contract to reduce the number of aircraft procured and cut the production rate to just two examples per year. The service did not disclose how many aircraft were to be cut from the production total.

AirForces Intelligence data states that the FAB has operated the KC-390 multi-role tanker/transport aircraft since September 2019. At present, the air arm has received four examples of the type – all of which are operated by 1° Grupo de Transporte de Tropas (1° GTT, 1st Troop Transport Group) from Anápolis Air Base in the Brazilian state of Goiás.