Embraer and Mahindra sign agreement in India for the C-390

Embraer and Mahindra announce collaboration on the C-390 Millennium Medium Transport Aircraft in India. Image: Embraer

Embraer Defense & Security and Mahindra Defense Systems today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) involving the C-390 Millenium. The objective of the agreement is to fulfill the Indian Air Force's requirements for the acquisition of multi-role medium transport aircraft in its upcoming Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) acquisition project. The signing took place at the Brazilian Embassy in New Delhi.

For Bosco da Costa Junior, President & CEO of Embraer Defense & Security: “India is a key market for Embraer and we fully support India’s vision to become self-reliant (Atmanirbhar Bharat). We see this partnership as a symbol of strengthening relations between Brazil and India and a way to promote global South-South cooperation.”

Embraer and Mahindra Defense Systems will work with the Indian Air Force to identify next steps for the MTA Program, as well as ways to collaborate with the Indian aerospace and defense industry to begin development of the project's local industrialization plan.

“We are proud to begin this partnership with Embraer, a company known for its engineering excellence and a unique portfolio of aircraft and systems. The C-390 Millenium is the most advanced military aircraft on the market and we believe this partnership will not only enhance the operational prowess of the Indian Air Force, but also provide an efficient industrialization solution completely aligned with the 'Make in India' objectives.”, says Vinod Sahay, President of the Aerospace and Defense Sector and Member of the Group Executive Board – M&M.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Embraer Defense & Security and Mahindra Defense Systems, a 100% controlled subsidiary of Mahindra, which focuses on armored vehicles and security-related products, including electronics.

Embraer has an established presence in India in the areas of defense, commercial aviation and executive aviation. In August 2023, Embraer held the C-390 Millennium Day in New Delhi, to deepen engagement with the local aerospace industry, an event that saw great participation from the Indian production chain.

C-390 Millennium

The C-390 Millenium is the new generation of multi-mission military transport aircraft that brings unmatched mobility, high productivity and operating flexibility at low operating costs, in an unbeatable combination.

Since entering into operation in the Brazilian Air Force in 2019, and more recently in the Portuguese Air Force in 2023, the C-390 has proven its capacity, reliability and performance. The current fleet of aircraft in operation has accumulated more than 11.500 flight hours, with operational availability around 80% and mission completion rates above 99%, demonstrating exceptional productivity in the category. The C-390 Millenium achieved Full Operational Capability (FOC) by the Brazilian Air Force in 2023, which endorses the platform's ability to perform all the missions for which it was designed.

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

The C-390, the most modern military aircraft on the market, can carry more payload (26 tons) compared to other medium-sized military transport aircraft and flies at 870 km/h (470 knots). Therefore, it is capable of carrying out a wide range of missions, such as transport and launch of cargo and troops, aeromedical evacuation, search and rescue, firefighting and humanitarian missions, including operating on unpaved runways, on surfaces such as compacted earth and gravel. .

In this sense, the aircraft configured for aerial refueling, with the designation KC-390, has already proven its capacity both as a tanker and as a receiver, in this case receiving fuel from another KC-390 using capsules (pods) installed under the wings.

In short, 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 Defense will explore the potential of turning India into a future C-390 aircraft hub for the region. 

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