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Business News/ Companies / News/  Embraer is in talks with Tata, M&M for manufacturing tie-up

Embraer is in talks with Tata, M&M for manufacturing tie-up

Defence partnership likely by end of year; firm eyes IAF order

Francisco Gomes Neto, president and CEO, EmbraerPremium
Francisco Gomes Neto, president and CEO, Embraer

LISBON : Brazil’s Embraer is in talks with India’s Tata and Mahindra groups, among others, for an aircraft manufacturing partnership, top company executives said, as the world’s third-largest passenger jet maker works to expand its India foothold.

“Tata told us that they would first start with focus on big aircraft, and that involves Airbus and Boeing. After that, they would look at more regional aircraft, and there is the market where we are," president and chief executive officer (CEO) Francisco Gomes Neto said in an interview.

Embraer is a leader in regional aviation and follows Airbus and Boeing in the market for larger commercial jets. The company hopes to finalize its Indian partner for defence aircraft manufacturing by the end of 2023.

Graphic: Mint
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Graphic: Mint

“We are in touch with several potential partners, such as Tata, Mahindra, and other companies as well. We will not take so long. I do believe somewhere in the end of this year, we are going to decide what kind of partner we are going to be with," the company’s defence and security president and CEO Bosco Costa Junior said.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is scouting for medium-transport aircraft that can lift 18-30 tonnes, a process it expects to complete by 2025-26. Embraer, which showcased the product at Aero India 2023 in Bengaluru in February, has pitched its latest defence product—the C-390 Millennium multi-mission tactical air transport aircraft—for the order.

“India has got a procurement process in place for up to 80 units of tactical cargo airplanes; so, we are seeing this market as a very important market to us, and we have the intention to go very aggressive in this kind of initiative to even have a final assembly line there," Costa Junior added.

Embraer sees “a good opportunity" in India, CEO Neto said. “The IAF has seen our aircraft already; they like it. We have had good experiences from countries such as the Netherlands with respect to the C-390 Millennium. With this request for information (RFI), we think the C-390 Millennium is the best solution for that size of aircraft," he added.

Embraer is not new to Indian defence aviation. The company has earlier collaborated with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to manufacture three Netra airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft based on Embraer’s ERJ145 platform, which are operated by the IAF. Embraer’s Legacy 600 jets are also operated by the IAF and the Border Security Force (BSF) to transport government officials and VIPs.

The company had earlier held talks with IndiGo for next-generation turboprop aircraft, Neto said, adding India’s largest airline was “very interested". However, Embraer has since then put the turboprop project on hold.

Global supply chain issues continue to impact aerospace manufacturing, but the delivery of aircraft parts and engines is expected to improve in 2023 as compared to 2022, albeit at a gradual pace. Embraer aims to deliver 65-70 commercial jets and 125-130 executive jets in 2023, against 57 commercial jets and 102 executive jets delivered in 2022.

“We could do more, but we had some limitations with respect to engines; that’s why we gave this guidance. This year will still be challenging for us on account of supply chain issues," Neto added.

(The reporter was in Lisbon at the invitation of Embraer)

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Updated: 01 Jun 2023, 11:31 PM IST
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