S. Korea's defense forces to adopt Brazilian transport aircraft 'C-390'

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : December 5, 2023, 14:35 Updated : December 5, 2023, 14:39
This screenshot image was captured from the website of Embra
[This screenshot image was captured from the website of Embraer]
SEOUL -- C-390 Millennium, a military transport aircraft created by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, has become the first Brazilian military plane adopted by South Korea's defense forces. South Korea's arms procurement agency has selected the transport aircraft over two other products created by American aerospace company Lockheed Martin and Airbus, a European aircraft maker.

C-390 with a transport capacity of about 26 tons is designed to carry out various missions such as troop transportation, medical evacuation, and firefighting. The medium-sized aircraft flies at a maximum speed of about 870 kilometers per hour (540 miles per hour) and even operates on unpaved or damaged runways including packed soil and gravel.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said the South Korean agency will purchase three C-390 aircraft by 2026. A total of 710 billion won ($540.8 million) will be invested. "Embraer will be partnering with several South Korean companies to develop a local ecosystem for parts and components," Brazilian Ambassador to South Korea Marcia Donner Abreu said on December 5.

"This is a new era in Brazil-South Korea relations and together with our Korean partners, we are committed to growing the capabilities of its aerospace and defense industries," said Embraer CEO Bosco da Costa Junior. 

The aircraft was selected through a state project to purchase high-performance foreign stealth fighters as a part of Kill Chain, a program aiming to carry out a preemptive strike against North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities. C-390 is currently used in six countries including Portugal, Austria, and the Netherlands.

Previously, the DAPA purchased transport aircraft "C-130J" from Lockheed Martin. South Korea's air force is currently operating four C-130J planes. 
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