Brazilian Air Force authorized to purchase two transport and refueling aircraft

Widebodies jets will be used in humanitarian aid and missions against the Covid-19 pandemic, says Defense Ministry

The Brazilian Ministry of Defense authorized the Air Force to acquire two strategic transport and refueling aircraft in flight this week.

The order signed by Defense Minister Walter Braga Netto also includes the exemption from the requirement for commercial, technological or industrial compensation, which could make the so-called “Project KC-X3” more expensive and delay.

According to the Brazilian government, “The speed of acquisition is justified, among other reasons, by facing the public health emergency and for humanitarian support.”

Brazil is one of the nations most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In January, the Air Force was criticized for not having larger-capacity aircraft to deliver medical supplies to the Amazon region, where a new variant of the virus has spread rapidly.

The Boeing 767-300ER used by the Brazilian Air Force until 2018 (FAB)

Since 2018, the FAB has stopped operating a leased Boeing 767-300, relying only on smaller aircraft such as the C-130 Hercules and the new KC-390.

The Bolsonaro government tried to use resources from the Ministry of Economy to acquire two used A330s, but the proposal was not approved.

The most-quoted aircraft to be purchased used by the country are Airbus A330 and Boeing 767, but it is not known whether they will be civilian airplanes, with more affordable prices, or military variants, with in-flight refueling systems such as the MRTT or the conversion carried out by IAI with the 767.

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