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Pilots of the Portuguese Air Force (FAP) have commenced basic phase flights with the Brazilian Air Force’s (FAB) KC-390 Millennium aircraft.

The flight tests are being carried out at the Anápolis Air Base (BAAN) in Goiás, Brazil.

The Portuguese crewmembers will train and familiarise themselves with piloting the multi-mission aircraft, conduct local flights along with performing some basic exercises and learn to operate instrument flight procedures.

The four-week phase will culminate with the start of the en-route flight’s phase.

In this stage, students will conduct longer flights and landings in five Brazilian regions and undergo the Logistics Air Transport training.

Portugal Ambassador in Brazil Luís Faro Ramos said: “I congratulate our pilots and crew who made their first flight, and on behalf of the Embassy of Portugal I thank the Brazilian authorities. Finally, I want the KC-390 to be a success in any force that is used.”

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FAP training on FAB aircraft is part of the bilateral cooperation agreement between the two nations.

In 2019, Brazilian manufacturer Embraer was awarded a contract by the Portuguese Government for five KC-390 multi-mission airlifters.

The FAB is the launch customer for the KC-390 and Portugal is the first confirmed export customer for the programme.

Air Force Garrison of Anápolis commander colonel aviator Gustavo Pestana Garcez said: “It is a pleasure to be able to deliver to the Portuguese Air Force military personnel capable of safely and efficiently operating the Brazilian KC-390 Millennium multi-mission aircraft.

“May this acquisition provide valuable support in Portuguese Military Air Operations and further strengthen the bonds of friendship and partnership between the two countries.”