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First KC-390 airlifter arrives in Hungary ahead of official handover

Seen on its maiden flight in February, the first KC-390 for Hungary arrived in the country on 12 April to allow national personnel to become acquainted with the aircraft before it is officially handed over later in 2024. (Embraer)

The first of two Embraer KC-390 Millennium tanker-transport aircraft for Hungary arrived in-country on 12 April.

The milestone, which is intended to provide the Hungarian Defence Force familiarisation time with the type ahead of its official handover later in 2024, was marked by an event at Kecskemét Air Base that was attended by Hungarian government and military officials, including State Secretary for Defense Policy Zsolt Kutnyánszky.

“This short period is an excellent opportunity for Hungarian professionals to get acquainted with the technology long before the aircraft [officially] arrives,” Kutnyánszky was quoted by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as saying.

As noted in Kutnyánszky's comment, this first KC-390 will remain in Hungary for an undisclosed period of time before being returned to Embraer's Gavião Peixoto production facility where it was built for final works and check out. It will then be formally handed over to the Hungarian MoD later in 2024, with the second aircraft following in 2025.

Hungary signed for the two KC-390s (designated C-390 in its baseline transport configuration) in November 2020. The aircraft for Hungary will be particularly configured for tactical transport operations, air-to-air refuelling of the service's Saab Gripen C/D fighters, and for the medical evacuation (medevac) role (the Hungarian C-390s will be the first to include provisions for an intensive care unit).

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