The Hungarian Ministry of Defense announced the signing of a contract for the delivery of two KC-390 Millenium transport aircraft produced by the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. The two airlifters should be delivered by 2023.
After retiring two Antonov An-26 aircraft dating back from the Soviet era, the Hungarian Air Force was left with a transport capacity reduced to two Airbus A319, two Dassault Falcon 7X, and several (also Soviet) Mil Mi-17s. The latter should eventually be replaced by 16 Airbus H225M ordered in December 2018. Yet the need for a modern transport plane remained.
Thus, on November 17, 2020, the Hungarian Ministry of Defense, announced the acquisition of two KC-390 aircraft produced by the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. “We are in the process of acquiring a multipurpose transport fleet for the Hungarian defense forces, in order to be able to accomplish the widest possible range of tasks at the national level, in a sovereign way,” Gáspár Maróth, the head of acquisitions at the ministry commented. One of the two aircraft delivered will be able to carry out medical evacuations.
The KC-390 Millennium is a tactical transport and inflight refueling aircraft. Powered by two specially designed Pratt and Whitney V2500-E5 engines, it can carry 26 tons of cargo, including vehicles like two M113 armored personnel carriers, or a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. The biggest aircraft produced in Latin America, it is designed to take off and land on semi-prepared and unpaved airfields.
Following Boeing’s withdrawal from a joint venture in April 2020, the next-generation airlifter had fallen under the radar. In June 2020, Embraer announced it was looking for other partners.