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Paris Air Show 2023: Embraer eyes NATO for KC-390 as part of wider sales push

Embraer showcased a pair of KC-390s at the Paris Air Show 2023 for the first time as it looks to secure further international orders for the tanker-transport aircraft. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Embraer is eyeing NATO as a potential customer for its KC-390 Millennium as part of a wider push to promote the tanker-transport aircraft to the international market.

Speaking at the Paris Air Show 2023 in Le Bourget, Marcio Monteiro, chief marketing officer at Embraer, said the Brazilian company is in very early talks with the alliance about offering the aircraft for the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) of the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC).

“We have been having some dialogue with NATO. This is very preliminary, but I see the potential [for the KC-390 in NATO], and I think it would be a great fit,” Monteiro said on 21 June.

The HAW currently fields three Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlifters, located at Pápa Air Base in Hungary. With production of the C-17 having ceased in 2015, the HAW would either need to be given used examples from the United States Air Force (USAF) or source a new type if it is to expand its capacities as previously indicated. Earlier, the Airbus A400M Atlas and Lockheed Martin C-130J have been touted by NATO as potential solutions, but Hungary's recent procurement of two KC-390s to be delivered between 2023 and 2024 has offered up the prospect of that airframe contributing the HAW.

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