Brazilian defense firm Embraer Defense and Security, in partnership with the Mahindra Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the C-390 Millennium aircraft, responding to the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) requirement for new medium transport aircraft (MTA). The potential IAF order, ranging from 40 to 80 MTAs, aims for technology transfer and the establishment of a manufacturing line in India to enhance indigenization.
Embraer Defense and Security CEO, Bosco da Costa Junior, expressed their honor in announcing the MoU with Mahindra, emphasizing India’s significant role in their defense and aerospace strategy. The partnership aligns with India’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, symbolizing strengthened relations between Brazil and India.
Competing with Lockheed Martin’s C-130J and Airbus Defence and Space’s A-400M, the C-390 Millennium is positioned as the most advanced military airlifter in the market. Both Embraer and Mahindra will work closely with the IAF to identify the next steps for the MTA program, engaging the local aerospace industry to develop an industrialization plan.
Vinod Sahay, President of Mahindra’s aerospace and defense business, highlighted the C-390 Millennium’s operational prowess, anticipating that the partnership will not only enhance the IAF’s capabilities but also contribute to the objectives of ‘Make in India.’ The collaboration aims to explore the potential of turning India into a hub for the C-390 aircraft in the region.
Currently, the IAF operates 12 C-130J aircraft, and Airbus is involved in a project to equip the air force with 56 C-295 aircraft. Embraer, having supplied eight jets to India for VVIP travel and airborne early warning, plays a pivotal role in the defense sector.
The IAF’s requirements from original equipment manufacturers include technology transfer, methods to enhance indigenization, dedicated manufacturing lines, and the capability to make India a regional or global hub for manufacturing and maintenance.
This collaboration signifies a significant step towards meeting India’s defense needs and fostering international cooperation in the defense and aerospace sector.