Indian manufacturer Mahindra has signed a memorandum of understanding with Brazilian aerospace corporation Embraer to deliver C-390 Millennium multi-mission aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
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Both companies signed the MOU under the Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) procurement project at the Embassy of Brazil in New Delhi on 9 February. Mahindra Defence Systems, an armoured transport and security subsidiary, signed on behalf of Mahindra.
Embraer and Mahindra will engage with the Indian Air Force to identify the next steps of the MTA program, as well as contact the domestic aerospace industry in India to start developing the industrialisation plan for the project.
“We are honoured to announce this memorandum of understanding with Mahindra,” according to Bosco da Costa Junior, Embraer Defense & Security president and chief executive officer.
“India has a diverse and strong defence and aerospace industry and we have chosen Mahindra as our partner to jointly pursue the MTA program.
“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.”
The company already has an established presence in India across the fields of defence, commercial aviation, and executive aviation after showcasing the C-390 Millennium in New Delhi late last year.
The C-390 Millennium multi-mission tactical transport aircraft entered service with the Brazilian Air Force in 2019, achieving full operational capability status in 2023, and with the Portuguese Air Force last year.
The C-390 fleet has achieved more than 11,500 flight hours, with operational availability of around 80 percent and mission completion rates above 99 percent, according to Embraer. It can carry a 26-tonne payload, achieve 470-knot flight and ability to conduct transport, drop cargo and troops, medical evacuation, air-to-air refuelling, search and rescue, aerial firefighting, and humanitarian missions from temporary or unpaved runways.
The C-390 Millennium has been selected by Brazil, Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, and South Korea.
“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,” according to Vinod Sahay, Mahindra aerospace and defence sector president and group executive board member.
“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.”
Earlier this week, the first Hungarian Air Force C-390 Millennium successfully completed its maiden flight at Gavião Peixoto on 9 February.
The Hungarian government signed a contract with Embraer to acquire two C-390s in November 2020.