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Austria selects KC-390 as C-130K replacement

Austria is to acquire the KC-390 (pictured) to replace its ageing C-130K airlifters. (Embraer)

Austria has selected the Embraer KC-390 Millennium for its future fixed-wing medium-lift requirement.

Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner announced the selection on 20 September, with the Brazilian-made airlifter now set to replace the Lockheed Martin C-130K Hercules in Austrian Air Force (Ɩsterreichische LuftstreitkrƤfte) service.

At the announcement, Major General Harald Vodosek from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence said that four aircraft would be acquired, with a contract expected in early 2024. Tanner did not disclose contract values or delivery timelines in her announcement, and Embraer had not responded to a Janes request for comment at the time of publication.

News of the selection came six months after Austria attended a Portuguese Air Force (ForƧa AƩrea Portuguesa: FAP)-hosted user meeting for the KC-390 at Air Base No 11 in Beja. During this event, it joined countries that had already ordered or had committed to ordering the tanker transport and discussed co-operation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing on the aircraft.

The Ɩsterreichische LuftstreitkrƤfte 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 was one of the platforms being considered for that requirement, with other surplus C-130s, as well as newbuild C-130J Hercules, Leonardo C-27J Spartan, and Airbus C295 aircraft having been looked at also. At the time of the selection, the KC-390 was up against the C-130J.

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