Australia’s Adagold Aviation is part of a joint venture with Portuguese charter and defence aviation services company HiFLy that has signed a letter of intent to buy up to six Embraer KC-390 transports.
“The aircraft are earmarked for multiple defence projects, and both companies have also agreed on a potential strategic collaboration to jointly explore new business opportunities in training and services,” Adagold said in a statement.
President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security Jackson Schneide said Embraer was keen for the new joint-venture, named Skytech, to be a strategic partner, “for some of our own planned projects, where we see them adding value and enhancements by providing various ongoing solutions to our own defence customer base.”
Just what ‘projects’ SkyTech might be looking at are yet to be defined, although UN-style peacekeeping and humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) missions on a wet-lease basis spring to mind, as do short-to-medium term contract with a nation’s military in the event of a fleet grounding or to fill a capability gap.
“We have been following the KC-390 program since its inception and believe that it will be a game-changer in the medium-sized airlift category as well as a multi-role platform,” Paulo Mirpuri, Skytech president, said.
Brazil has ordered 28 KC-390s, while Portugal has five on order. The aircraft is sized to replace the C-130 in service, offering a combination of jet speeds and unprepared field performance.