As expected, Embraer announced the Indian company that will be its partner in the project to supply the C-390 Millennium multi-mission aircraft to the Indian Air Force, Mahindra.
The Indian group was one of three with which Embraer negotiated – the others were the state-owned Hindustan Aerospace Limited (HAL) and the giant Tata.
To make the partnership viable, Embraer and Mahindra Defense Systems signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Brazilian Embassy in New Delhi on Friday.
“We are honored to announce this MoU with Mahindra . India has a diverse and strong defense and aerospace industry and we have chosen Mahindra as our partner to jointly pursue the MTA program,” said Mr Bosco da Costa Junior, President & CEO, Embraer Defense & Security.
According to the company, the two companies will work with the Indian Air Force to identify the next steps of the MTA (Medium Transport Aircraft) Program, a competition that aims to order 40 to 80 transport aircraft.
“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 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 industrialization solution that aligns seamlessly with the objectives of Make in India,” said Vinod Sahay, who chairs the Executive Board of the M&M Group, Mahindra’s parent company.
The two companies intend to establish a future C-390 aircraft center in the region, but did not mention an assembly line, although this requirement is practically mandatory in case of selection by the Indian Air Force.
Mahindra Defense Systems primarily focuses on armored vehicles and security-related products, including electronics.
The group, however, does not have such a broad aerospace presence, only producing aerostructures and developing a small utility single-engine engine originally from an Australian company.
The other two groups have greater expertise, with HAL being a state-owned manufacturer and Tata, an industrial giant with diverse branches, but which has greater ties with Airbus.
To date, the C-390 Millenium has been selected by Brazil, Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic and, more recently, South Korea.