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Aero India 2023

Embraer and Mahindra announce collaboration on C-390 medium transport aircraft

NEW DELHI (PTI): Brazilian aerospace major Embraer and Mahindra have announced the signing of an agreement to jointly fulfil the acquisition of the C-390 multi-mission transport aircraft by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The IAF is looking at procuring 40 to 80 medium transport aircraft to replace its ageing fleets of AN32 planes.

Embraer Defence and Security's C-390 Millennium, Airbus Defence and Space's A-400M aircraft and Lockheed Martin's C-130J have emerged as the top contenders.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Embraer and Mahindra on the proposed medium transport aircraft (MTA) procurement project was signed at the Brazilian embassy here last Friday.

The two companies said the collaboration around the C-390 Millennium will bring the latest technology in terms of aerospace and military transport aircraft to India.

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

"We are honoured to announce this MoU with Mahindra. India has a diverse and strong defence and aerospace industry and we have chosen Mahindra as our partner to jointly pursue the MTA programme," said Bosco da Costa Junior, president and CEO of Embraer Defense and Security.

"India is a key market for Embraer and we fully support India's ambitions for 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'. We see this partnership as a symbol of strengthening relations between Brazil and India and a way to foster Global South cooperation," he said.

Embraer and Mahindra will engage with the IAF to identify the next steps of the MTA programme as well as contact the local aerospace industry in India to start developing the industrialisation plan for the project, according to a joint statement released by the two companies.

Vinod Sahay, Mahindra's president of aerospace and defence sector and member of the company's group executive board, said they are proud to start the partnership with Embraer.

"The C-390 Millennium is the most advanced military airlifter in the market, and we believe that this partnership will not only bolster the operational prowess of the Indian Air Force, but also provide an efficient industrialisation solution that aligns seamlessly with the objectives of Make in India," he said.

The MoU was signed by Embraer Defense and Security and Mahindra Defence Systems, a 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of Mahindra that focuses on armoured transport and security-related products, including electronics.

The C-390 aircraft is configured with air-to-air refuelling equipment.

Embraer has an established presence in India across the fields of defence, commercial aviation and executive aviation.

In August 2023, Embraer held a C-390 Millennium Day in New Delhi to deepen its engagement with the local aerospace industry. It was very well attended by the Indian ecosystem.

The C-390 Millennium multi-mission tactical transport aircraft offers unmatched mobility, combining high productivity and operating flexibility with low operating costs, according to the statement.

Since entering operation with the Brazilian Air Force in 2019 and most recently with the Portuguese Air Force in 2023, the C-390 has proven its capacity, reliability and performance, the statement said.

The current fleet of the aircraft in operation has accumulated more than 11,500 flight hours, with operational availability of around 80 per cent and mission completion rates of above 99 per cent.

To date, the C-390 Millennium has been selected by Brazil, Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic and most recently, South Korea.

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