South Korea to Buy Embraer C-390 for Military Transport

The deal for an undisclosed number of aircraft makes the Republic of Korea Air Force the first C-390 operator in Asia.

The deal makes South Korea the first to operate the C-390 Millennium in Asia, Embraer said.
[Courtesy: Embraer]

The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) is set to buy an undisclosed number of Embraer C-390 Millennium military transport aircraft, according to the Brazilian manufacturer.

The aircraft was selected by South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) as the winner of the Large Transport Aircraft (LTA) II public tender for a new military transport airplane for ROKAF, Embraer said Monday.

The agreement, which comes as South Korea continues to modernize its military fleet, makes the country the seventh to purchase the C-390 for military transport and the first to operate it in Asia. The medium-sized military transport aircraft is capable of carrying a payload of more than 26 tons and flying at 470 knots.

In addition to providing an undisclosed number of aircraft configured for ROKAF specifications, Embraer will also provide services and support, including training, ground support equipment, and spare parts. The company said a significant amount of aircraft parts would be made by Korean partners, and there would be development of a local maintenance repair and overhaul provider.

“We welcome the [ROKAF] to the growing number of air forces operating the C-390 Millennium—the most modern military tactical transport aircraft," said Bosco da Costa Jr., president and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. "Day after day, the aircraft has proven its capability to complete a wide range of missions with great efficiency, serviceability, and speed."

In 2019, the Brazilian Air Force began operating the C-390, which Embraer markets as an alternative to the C-130 Hercules. The Portuguese Air Force took delivery of its first KC-390 tanker this year. 

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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