“The acquisition of the KC-390” by Portugal, “much more than just an expense, is a great investment for the country.”
National Defense Minister Joao Gomes Cravinho said Thursday the KC-390 aircraft was “the best in the market” and argued that Portugal’s purchase of five of these aircraft is “an investment” rather than “a mere expense”. ”
“The national participation in the building and dynamization of the KC-390 program clearly reveals the current competitive capacity of the national aviation industry, including the one that is installed in Évora, which guarantees an economic, financial and knowledge return” for Portugal, defended the minister.
According to João Gomes Cravinho, who spoke at the facilities of the Brazilian aircraft builder Embraer in Évora, where he owns two factories, “this is why” the process of acquiring the KC-390 “by Portugal,” is much more than a simple expense, is a great investment for the country “.
The Minister of National Defense was speaking at the ceremony this afternoon, signing the contracts for the acquisition of five KC-390 aircraft and one flight simulator, and their logistical support, with the technical, operational and logistical configurations and specifications defined by the Force. Portuguese airline (FAP).
At the ceremony, chaired by Prime Minister António Costa, João Gomes Cravinho stressed that “the 827 million that will be invested over the next 12 years include the acquisition of aircraft, the simulator, the equipment, but also the maintenance costs, the acquisition of complementary systems or the construction and adaptation of infrastructures necessary for their operation, from Air Base No. 6 in Montijo “.
“This means that future budgets will not be burdened with necessary expenses, but difficult to fit, as happened with some of the capabilities currently available to the Air Force,” he said.
With Embraer’s KC-390, which had national participation, “Portugal is acquiring the best aircraft in the market for the specific operational and logistics requirements” of the country, assured the minister.
The Portuguese aeronautical cluster “already represents about 1% of the national GDP (gross domestic product)” and what is expected is that “it could double in the near future”, said the minister.
“This industry represents 3.3% of national exports” and has “a growing trend in the last 10 years”, he said, arguing that this “great national competitiveness” extends to the European plan.
With the KC-390, whose first aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to Portugal in 2023, the Portuguese Armed Forces “are better equipped” and “Portugal is better equipped”.
It is an “intercontinental range” aircraft capable of performing various “strategic, tactical, civil and military” missions and operations.
“It will strengthen existing air transport, search and rescue capabilities, health evacuations and support for national citizens, notably between the continent and the archipelagos or diaspora, among other missions,” he said.