South Korea selects the Embraer C-390 Millennium

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South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has selected Embraer’s C-390 Millennium for its Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). This decision marks South Korea as Asia’s first operator of the C-390 Millennium. The contract includes the provision of an undisclosed number of C-390 Millennium aircraft, specially tailored to meet ROKAF’s requirements, along with associated services, support, and training.

Embraer will integrate a comprehensive consortium and offset package, involving local manufacture of C-390 Millennium parts by Korean partner companies, as well as the establishment of a local Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) provider.

Bosco da Costa Jr, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security, emphasized the aircraft’s efficiency, serviceability, and speed, welcoming South Korea to the expanding network of air forces utilizing the C-390 Millennium. This selection highlights a new phase in Brazil-South Korea relations, aiming to bolster aerospace and defence industries through collaboration.

South Korea becomes the seventh nation after Brazil, Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, and the Czech Republic to opt for the C-390. Renowned for its multi-mission capability, reliability, and design-built interoperability, the C-390 redefines military airlift standards and challenges conventional thinking about current and future generation platforms.

The C-390, operational since 2019 with the Brazilian Air Force and most recently with the Portuguese Air Force in 2023, has demonstrated exceptional capacity, reliability, and performance, accumulating over 10,800 flight hours with an operational availability of approximately 80% and mission completion rates exceeding 99%.

Distinguished by its capacity to carry a higher payload (26 tonnes) compared to similar-sized military transport aircraft, the C-390 also boasts faster (470 knots) and longer-range capabilities. It can execute diverse missions like cargo and troop transportation, medical evacuation, search and rescue, firefighting, and humanitarian aid. Additionally, its adaptability to operate on temporary or unpaved runways sets it apart. Moreover, the aircraft, when configured with air-to-air refuelling equipment (designated as KC-390), has successfully showcased its aerial refuelling capacity both as a tanker and receiver, enhancing its operational versatility.

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