Embraer Defense & Security and Mahindra have joined forces to drive the acquisition of the C-390 Millennium multi-mission aircraft by the Indian Air Force, in bilateral cooperation between Brazil and India in the defence sector.

Embraer Defense & Security and Mahindra have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at pursuing the Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) procurement project. 

The signing ceremony, held at the Brazilian Embassy in New Delhi, shows the commitment of both companies to support India’s aspirations for self-reliance in defence production, in line with the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.

Speaking on the collaboration, Mr Bosco da Costa Junior, president and CEO of Embraer Defence & Security, emphasised the importance of the partnership with Mahindra, recognising India’s robust defence and aerospace industry.

The joint endeavour will see Embraer and Mahindra collaborate with local aerospace industry stakeholders to develop an industrialisation plan tailored to India’s requirements. Mr Vinod Sahay, president of the aerospace and defence sector of Mahindra, hailed the partnership as a testament to Embraer’s engineering prowess and the transformative potential of the C-390 Millennium aircraft.

The C-390 Millennium is mobile and offers operational flexibility. The aircraft was inducted into service with the Brazilian Air Force in 2019 and subsequently with the Portuguese Air Force in 2023. It has a record of 11,500 flight hours and operational availability exceeding 80%.

South KoreaAustria, and the Czech Republic also selected the Embraer C-390 Millennium for their military transport needs. Austria has confirmed the selection of the C-390 as a replacement for its C-130 fleet, with four units set to be acquired at an estimated cost of €130m ($140.4m) to €150m ($162m) per aircraft. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic is negotiating to acquire two C-390 Millennium aircraft.

Designed to fulfil many missions, including cargo and troop transport, medical evacuation, aerial firefighting, and humanitarian assistance, the C-390 Millennium offers performance and payload capacity compared to its counterparts. Furthermore, the aircraft’s air-to-air refuelling capability enhances its versatility, positioning it as a force multiplier for the Indian Air Force.

As Embraer and Mahindra embark on this collaboration, the focus extends beyond military capabilities to cultivating India as a regional hub for the C-390 aircraft. By leveraging technology and fostering indigenous manufacturing capabilities, the partnership aims to propel India’s aerospace industry onto the global stage while reinforcing the nation’s defence preparedness and self-sufficiency aspirations.