France, Germany and Sweden have signed an agreement to begin development of a new tactical midsize transport aircraft under the FMTC (Future MidSize Tactical Cargo) program. The agreement was signed at the end of June at the 123rd Air Force Base in OrléansBricy during the European Wings seminar attended by a dozen air force chiefs of staff and European civil and military authorities, Aviacionline reported.
During this event, an agreement was signed for the FMTC, a tactical transport project that will replace the C130 Hercules and Casa CN235 fleets from 2040. With the support of the European Defense Agency, this agreement allows a market to be defined for the aircraft to be used as a supplement to the Airbus A400M aircraft fleet Potential for the Embraer KC390.
The project brings together several partners, including France, Germany and Sweden. Other countries could join soon. This signature is an important first step for the FMTC project towards more precise common specifications. Subsequent industrial feasibility studies could lead to the start of development of this new aircraft around 20262027.
This project has been specifically promoted by the French Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace for several years, which has to replace about 14 C130H and 27 CN235whose age has a negative impact on maintenance costs and operational availability.
Although this requirement has become less urgent, following the acquisition of a batch of Lockheed Martin C130J Super Hercules aircraft and the formation of the FrancoGerman Combined Transport Squadron, there is still a need to accompany the A400M with a smaller partner.
With local development in Europe, the aircraft would be born as a direct competitor to the KC390. Since the project is longterm, new information from the group of countries should be announced soon.