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Business News/ Industry / Manufacturing/  Embraer, Mahindra sign deal to collaborate on C-390 transport aircraft
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Embraer, Mahindra sign deal to collaborate on C-390 transport aircraft

The Indian Air Force is looking for a medium transport aircraft that can lift 18-30 tonnes. Embraer pitched the C-390 Millennium multi-mission tactical air transport aircraft, which it showcased in Bengaluru in February, for the project.

Embraer previously collaborated with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to manufacture three Netra airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. Photo: ReutersPremium
Embraer previously collaborated with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to manufacture three Netra airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. Photo: Reuters

With the Indian Air Force assessing its requirements for medium transport aircraft (MTA), Brazilian aerospace giant Embraer and Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group have announced a collaboration to work on C-390 Millennium aircraft.

Mint reported exclusively in June, citing top company executives, that Embraer was in talks with the Mahindra and Tata groups, among others, for an aircraft-manufacturing partnership. On Friday, the world’s third-largest passenger jet maker announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Embraer Defense & Security and Mahindra Defence Systems, a 100% owned subsidiary of Mahindra that focuses on armoured transport and security-related products, including electronics.

The objective of the MoU is to jointly fulfil the acquisition of the C-390 Millennium multi-mission aircraft by the Indian Air Force in its upcoming MTA procurement project.

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

“India has a diverse and strong defense and aerospace industry and we have chosen Mahindra as our partner to jointly pursue the MTA programme," said Bosco da Costa Junior, president and chief executive of Embraer Defense & Security.

The two companies will engage with the Indian Air Force to identify the next steps, and meet with representatives of India’s aerospace industry to start developing the industrialisation plan for the project.

“We are proud to start this partnership with Embraer, a company that is known for its engineering excellence and a unique portfolio of aircraft and systems. The C-390 Millennium is the most advanced military airlifter on the market," said Vinod Sahay, president, aerospace & defence sector, and member of the group executive board at Mahindra.

The C390 began operations with the Brazilian Air Force in 2019, has since been selected by the militaries of Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic and, most recently, South Korea.

The aircraft can carry a bigger payload (26 tonnes) than other medium military transport aircraft and can operate at 870 km an hour. It can perform a wide range of missions, such as transporting and dropping cargo and troops, medical evacuation, search and rescue, aerial firefighting, and humanitarian missions, and can operate on temporary or unpaved runways such as packed earth, soil, and gravel. It also has air-to-air refuelling equipment.

"Both Embraer and Mahindra will explore the potential to turn India into a future hub of the C-390 aircraft for the region," Embraer said.

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

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Published: 09 Feb 2024, 04:13 PM IST
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