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According to a recent confirmation by Bosco da Costa Junior, President & CEO of Embraer Defense & Security, the C390, a Medium role Transporter aircraft manufactured by Embraer, can be easily converted into a Flight Refuelling Aircraft (FRA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) if requested. The C390 can be equipped with an air-to-air refuelling system installed under its wing pods, making it a suitable choice for the IAF’s needs.

A report by idrw had previously mentioned that the IAF is looking to procure up to 80 Medium role Transporter aircraft to replace its ageing Soviet-era An-32s Transporters, with a focus on local manufacturing in India under transfer of technology (ToT) agreements.

The report also stated that the IAF is considering using the same platform for additional purposes, such as Flight Refuelling Aircraft (FRA) and airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems.

In addition to its transport capabilities, the C-390 can also be outfitted with a hose and drogue aerial refuelling system, allowing it to serve as a tanker aircraft and refuel other aircraft in mid-air. This capability makes the C-390 a versatile platform that can support a wide range of military operations.

The C-390 has a maximum payload capacity of 26,000 kg and can carry up to 80 troops or 74 paratroopers. It has a range of 2,730 km (1,470 nm) with a full payload, or up to 6,250 km (3,375 nm) with no payload. The aircraft is equipped with two International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500-E5 turbofan engines, each producing 31,330 lbf of thrust.

One of the unique features of the C-390 is its ability to operate from unpaved and short runways, allowing it to reach remote and poorly serviced areas. It can take off and land on runways as short as 1,100 meters (3,609 feet), and can operate on rough or gravel surfaces.

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