In a ceremony held today in Lisbon (Portugal), Brazilian Defence Minister Nelson Jobim and the Portuguese Minister of National Defense Augusto Santos Silva, signed a declaration of intent regarding the participation of Portugal in the development programme of the EMBRAER-Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica SA KC-390 tactical transport aircraft.

The agreement marks the beginning of negotiations for Portuguese companies to join the project and to participate in the manufacture of the aircraft, as well as the future acquisition of six aircraft for the Portuguese Air Force (Força Aérea Portuguesa-FAP) in order to replace the Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules fleet.

FAP Squadron 501 “Bisontes” operates six C-130Hs (three C-130H and three C-130H-30) from the Montijo air base Nº6. Portugal is scheduling to start in 2011 an upgrade project for the six aircraft.

Portugal has first planned to procure the EADS Airbus Military A400M Grizzly.

Colombia and Chile has previously signed similar documents and the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira-FAB) has ordered 28 aircraft in July.

France could procure up to 10 aircraft if the FAB selects the Dassault Aviation RAFALE combat aircraft for its FX-2 requirement.

(EMBRAER).

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