The Indian Air Force (IAF) intends to replace its old four-engine Russian Il-76s with the aircraft that will be chosen in the MTA (Medium Transport Aircraft) competition.
The information was revealed by the Financial Express on Friday, which also says the country’s Air Force has already started evaluating the proposals sent after the Request for Information (RFI), launched at the beginning of the year.
The Ilyushin Il-76 is an aircraft with greater payload capacity, but with high operation and maintenance costs.
The IAF has a fleet of 17 Ilyushin Il-76 freighters that operate alongside US C-17 jets and C-130J turboprops, as well as small aircraft such as the Antonov An-32.
The competition for the supply of 40 to 80 aircraft would include the participation of the Airbus A400M, Lockheed Martin C-130J and the Embraer C-390 Millennium.
Embraer strengthens relations to win bid
The Financial Express highlighted Embraer’s position in its article. The Brazilian company has made several moves to win the bid. The outlet also highlighted the recent choice of the C-390 Millennium by Austria, which will become the 5th customer for the tactical transport aircraft.
According to the article, Embraer intends to announce by the end of the year which Indian partners will be for possible aircraft production in the country.
The Brazilian planemaker talks to the Tata Group, which is currently preparing the production of C295 turboprops in Indian territory, with Mahindra, and with the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautis Limited (HAL).
Embraer’s presence in India is still small, with around 40 aircraft in operation, including military models such as the Netra, an airborne early warning (AEW) platform based on the ERJ 145 jet.
The country’s Air Force even plans to expand the fleet with six more aircraft and to do so is looking for second-hand units of the jet.
In the commercial segment, which is also of interest to Embraer, the company’s most recent customer is the airline Star Air, which operates five ERJ 145s and three E175s.