Brazilian defence prime Embraer has entered into discussions with one of Europe’s leading arms manufacturers to evaluate the prospect of opening the first ever training hub in Europe dedicated to operating the C-390 Milennium transport aircraft.

Designed and developed by Embraer, the C-390 is capable of carrying out a range of missions, including humanitarian support, medical evacuation, search and rescue, and aerial refuelling. Furthermore, it can be deployed to transport and launch cargo and troops and perform paratroopers operations.

It is a twin-turbofan-powered transporter that the company designed to be reconfigured in less than three hours. It can be refuelled in flight and can be used for in-flight or on-ground refuelling of other aircraft.

As it stands, the Millennium aircraft is operated by Brazil, Portugal, the Netherlands and Hungary – which recently undertook its maiden flight in April 2024. Likewise, Austria confirmed its selection of the platform last year to replace its C-130J fleet. Not long later the Czech Republic followed suit.

Embraer proximity with European crews

Currently, there is an Embraer C-390 Training Center in Brazil, in the state of São Paulo, featuring a Full Flight and Mission Simulator and a Loadmaster Training Station. Here, Brazilian, Portuguese and Hungarian Air Force C-390 crews undergo their initial training.

Embraer and Rheinmetall aim to analyse ways to increase proximity with their current and future C-390 customers, to ease the training for pilots, loadmasters, mechanics, and additional crew members.

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“With the ongoing success of the C-390 throughout Europe, it is the right moment to start the evaluation and planning for a European C-390 training hub, providing comprehensive training facilities for aircrew and cargo operation training,” said Timo Haas, CDO of Rheinmetall AG and Deputy CEO of Rheinmetall Electronics.

Meanwhile, the decision to provide training resources and infrastructure for its European users demonstrates a level of commitment to its customers, which would not go unnoticed by new prospective customers. Boeing, under fire for incidents related to its commercial airliners this year, enacted a similar decision to support Canada’s defence industry after the government’s decision to opt for the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.