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Austria attends KC-390 user meeting ahead of C-130K replacement decision

Reflecting its interest in the KC-390 (pictured) as a potential replacement for its ageing C-130K airlifters, Austria recently attended the type's user meeting in Portugal. A decision on whether to buy it or another type will be made “in the coming months”, Janes was told. (Embraer)

Austria attended the recent user meeting for the Embraer KC-390 Millennium on 28 March, as it looks to finalise a selection decision for its Lockheed Martin C-130K Hercules replacement plan.

The Portuguese Air Force (Força Aérea Portuguesa: FAP) hosted the event at Air Base No 11 in Beja, during which Austria joined countries that have already ordered or have committed to ordering the Brazilian-made tanker transport, and discussed co-operation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing on the aircraft.

“During the four days of the event for sharing experiences and ideas about the aircraft, representatives from Austria, Brazil, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands were present, as well as the entities involved in the design of the aircraft, especially Embraer,” the FAP said on 29 March.

The Austrian Air Force has a requirement to replace three former UK C-130K aircraft, as outlined in the latest defence budget that was published in October 2022 and which will run through to 2027. The KC-390 is one of the platforms being considered for that requirement, with other surplus C-130s, Leonardo C-27J Spartans, and Airbus C295s being contenders also.

A Bundesheer spokesperson told Janes that despite attending the KC-390 user meeting, no decision on a type selection for the C-130K replacement requirement has yet been made. “This will fall in the coming months,” he said. The selected type is expected to be in service by 2029.

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