The Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces of the Czech Republic entered negotiations to acquire the Embraer C-390 Millennium military transport aircraft.
The decision, announced by the manufacturer on October 17, 2023, comes after an extensive market assessment and analysis conducted by the ministry, which identified the C-390 as the most suitable solution to meet the operational requirements of the Czech armed forces.
Czech Republic’s intent is to procure two aircraft, which will significantly enhance the nation’s airlift capabilities. Currently, the Czech Air Force operates a fleet of smaller transport aircraft, namely six CASA C295M and four homegrown Let L-410 Turbojets.
The Embraer C-390 Millennium will give the Czech Air Force the capability of carrying out a diverse range of missions ranging from medical evacuations, search and rescue missions, and troop and cargo transport. Equipped with two Pratt and Whitney V2500-E5 engines, the Millennium offers a cargo capacity of 26 tons.
“The C-390 Millennium is drawing the attention of several nations around the world due to its unbeatable combination of high productivity and operating flexibility with low operating costs,” Bosco da Costa Junior, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security, commented.
The procurement contract for two C-390 Millennium aircraft will also include training for pilots, loadmasters, and technicians, the provision of spare parts, and integration support.
With this decision, the Czech Republic is set to become the sixth nation and the fourth NATO country in Europe to operate the Embraer C-390 Millennium, following Brazil, Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Austria.
According to Embraer, this contract is poised to create new partnerships with the local industry. Czech manufacturer Aero Vodochody is already involved in the C-390 program, supplying parts of the aircraft’s fuselage, doors, and ramp.
On September 28, 2023, the government of the Czech Republic approved the purchase of 24 Lockheed Martin F-35 fifth-generation fighter jets.