The current C-130 aircrafts are said to only have approximately another 10 more years of useful life available, hence the desire of the ministry to replace these craft.
Acknowledging that a “decision is going to have to be taken sooner or later”, Azeredo Lopes
said the C-130 “are already several decades old” and they are currently “being upgraded to meet NATO standards”.
“I believe that [the C-130], with modernisation, regardless of whether one or two may have to be scrapped, can only be used for another 10 years or so”, he said.
The minister was talking after a visit to the two Embraer plants in Evora that make parts for the KC-390.
Portugal is involved in the KC-390 project through the Innovation and Industry Excellence Centre (development and tests) and the Embraer units in Alverca and Evora (construction and components).
Portugal is in the same situation as some 30 other countries, who have all signed a letter of intention to buy up to six KC-390, aircraft.