Embraer has started structural assembly work on the first of two KC-390 Millennium aircraft for Hungary at its Gavião Peixoto facility in Brazil.

The commencement of production was marked by a ceremony that was attended by the representatives of the Hungarian Government and Embraer.

It follows the clearance of the aircraft’s critical design review (CDR).

In the next weeks, assembly of parts will take place to generate the structural panels and frames for the key components of the aircraft’s fuselage and semi-wings.

In November last year, the Government of Hungary signed a contract with Embraer for the procurement of two C-390 Millennium aircraft in air-to-air refuelling configuration. This configuration is designated as ‘KC-390’.

The KC-390 is fully Nato compatible in terms of both hardware, as well as avionics and communications.

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It can refuel the Hungarian JAS 39 Gripen and other jets using the same technology.

The delivery of the first aircraft will take place in 2024.

Intended to enhance the Hungarian Defence Forces’ capabilities, the aircraft is claimed to be the world’s first to have the intensive care unit (ICU) in its configuration.

The aircraft is designed to perform different types of military and civilian missions such as medical evacuation, cargo and troops transport, precision cargo airdrop, and more, meeting the Hungarian Defence Forces’ requirements.

The existing KC-390 fleet with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) currently includes four aircraft. The fleet has surpassed 4,100 operational flight hours.

The C-390 is a tactical transport aircraft that has increased mobility, higher flexibility, advanced technology and an easy to maintain design.