Wing 3 at Canoas (RS) was the site of an unprecedented test of the KC-390 Millennium multi-mission aircraft. The three chaff and flare launches, the first partially and the last two fully loaded, were carried out at the end of October during two flights, with images recorded from the rear ramp of a C-105 Amazonas aircraft.
“The purpose of the test was to perform all maneuvers within the envelope of the aircraft to ensure that, in terms of safety, the aircraft can employ all chaffs and flares in the best way possible,” said Lt. Engineer Rafael Macedo Trindade, from the Institute of Flight Research and Testing (IPEV), one of the military personnel accompanying the tests of the KC-390 Millennium by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).
The C-105 and the KC-390 Millennium leveled out at about 10,000 feet and at a distance of 25 miles - approximately 40 kilometers - from the Gaucho coast, allowing images to be captured. In addition, the KC-390 Millennium itself was equipped with cameras that recorded the launches for analysis. And yet another aircraft - a Phenom business jet - was used to capture images from the side of the plane.
According to the KC-390 Millennium Project Operational Manager in Preparation Command (COMPREP), Major Reinaldo Alves da Silva, infrared radiation devices called chaff and flare are essential defensive countermeasures for a military aircraft. “The KC-390 is a multi-mission aircraft and, at some point, we may have to enter enemy territory. So, this autonomous defense system is used to outsmart weapons, radars and other aircraft,” Major Alves says.
The first KC-390 Millennium was delivered to the FAB in September 2019 and is based in Wing 2 in Anapolis (GO). In all, 28 aircraft will make up the Air Force’s fleet.
After each certification, the crews will operate the aircraft's various functionalities until they reach the Final Operational Capability (FOC).