The Ministry of Defence has started negotiations for the acquisition of C-390 Millennium transport aircraft
The Ministry of Defence has entered into negotiations with the Brazilian company Embraer for the potential acquisition of C-390 Millennium aircraft. This is a military medium transport aircraft with the capability to perform a wide range of missions. The decision to initiate negotiations is based on market research and Ministry of Defence analyses, which identified the aircraft as the most ideal solution to meet the requirements of the individual components of the Czech Army. We have already written in the past about the Brazilian transport aircraft's chances as a potential reinforcement of the Czech Air Force.
The Brazilian aircraft has already been demonstrated twice in the Czech Republic, most recently in June last year in the presence of Defence Minister Jana Černochová. During last year's demonstration, the army successfully tested the loading of a Pandur II 8x8 vehicle.
The KC-390's flight performance as well as the involvement of the Czech aerospace industry in its manufacture, with AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. producing the leading edges of the wings, all doors, including the cargo ramp and the rear fuselage, speak in favour of the machine. Moreover, the aircraft has a favourable purchase price compared to its competitors. The KC-390 has a maximum possible cargo weight of 26 tonnes, a maximum range of 5,820 km and a maximum speed of 988 km/h.
If the negotiations for the acquisition of the Embraer C-390 Millennium are successful, our military's ability to provide airlift of material, heavy military equipment and personnel will be enhanced, whereas until now we have had to rely on our allies. Currently, the Czech Army does not own a medium and long-range aircraft with a range of at least 12 hours, which would also be capable of taking off and landing at airports with unpaved runways.
Buying the Embraer would give us an additional tool for handling situations such as evacuation from crisis areas. It can also be used as a MEDEVAC medical evacuation vehicle and, thanks to its aerial firefighting system, it can also be used to fight large-scale fires. From the C-390's deck, all types of airborne personnel and parachute cargo drops can be carried out, among other things.
As required, the aircraft must have self-protection systems that provide comprehensive protection during landing and take-off in crisis areas with increased risk, for example when operating in foreign operations. Acquisition processes for Embraer C-390 aircraft are currently underway in several NATO member countries. These include Hungary and the Netherlands, and neighbouring Austria is also planning to acquire the aircraft. Not only Brazil, Embraer's home country, but also Portugal currently operates C-390s.
"The concrete step was to start negotiations with the aim of achieving the lowest possible price and the shortest possible delivery time. At the same time, I am pleased that the Czech company AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s. has been involved in the production of components for Embraer C-390 aircraft for several years, "Supporting domestic industry is one of the security interests of the Czech Republic and also corresponds to the new Defence Strategy of the Czech Republic. Good resourcing of the army will ensure a strong and reliable defence. We want to make sure that not only the army but also our citizens benefit from military contracts - for example, by expanding job opportunities," the Minister added.