(Updates with more details)
LISBON, July 11 (Reuters) - Portugal’s government will buy five KC-390 military transport aircraft and a flight simulator from Brazilian aerospace company Embraer for 827 million euros ($932 million), Defence Minister Joao Gomes Cravinho said on Thursday.
The first of the five planes will be delivered to the Portuguese armed forces in February 2023, with the rest arriving by February 2027.
The KC-390 aircraft are set to replace current C-130 Hercules planes, the minister said, adding the new aircraft will reinforce the army’s ability to carry out search and rescue missions.
Portugal’s armed forces have used C-130 Hercules made by Lockheed Martin for 40 years.
The government said the purchase of the aircraft will also reinforce the armed forces’ capabilities to combat wildfires and support citizens across the country, including on Portugal’s Atlantic islands of Madeira and the Azores.
“The unique characteristics of the KC-390 aircraft set a new standard for strategic military transport,” the government said, adding the new aircraft can respond to the country’s “permanent needs”, both civilian and military. ($1 = 0.8877 euros) (Reporting by Catarina Demony, editing by Andrei Khalip and Alexandra Hudson)