South Korea becomes the first Asian customer of Embraer C-390 tactical airlifter


South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) selected the Embraer C-390 Millennium airlifter as the winner of the Large Transport Aircraft (LTA) II public tender. 

Initiated in March 2022, this program saw the Embraer C-390 compete with the Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Hercules and the Airbus A400M Atlas. The objective is to enhance the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) transport capability for personnel and supplies. 

Under the terms of the signed contract, Embraer will supply the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) with an undisclosed number of C-390 Millennium military transport aircraft, along with training, support, and spare parts. South Korea will thus become the first customer for the C-390 Millennium in Asia. 

“We welcome the Republic of Korea Air Force to the growing number of air forces operating the C-390 Millennium,” said Bosco da Costa Jr, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. “This is a new era in Brazil-South Korea relations and together with our Korean partners, we are committed to growing the capabilities of its aerospace and defense industries.”  

According to the manufacturer, South Korean companies will also manufacture a range of C-390 Millennium parts. In October 2022, Embraer announced having reached a memorandum of understanding with Aerospace Technology of Global (ASTG), EM Korea (EMK), and Kencoa Aerospace. 

South Korea has become the seventh nation to select the C-390, joining Brazil, Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, and the Czech Republic. 

The Embraer C-390 Millennium is a tactical transport aircraft with proficiency in a broad range of missions. These include humanitarian aid, medical evacuations, search and rescue operations, troop and cargo transport, and the potential for customization for tasks such as aerial refueling and waterbombing. Powered by Pratt and Whitney V2500-E5 engines, the aircraft has a cargo capacity of 26 tons. 

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