Brazilian multinational aerospace manufacturer, Embraer is looking for an industrial partner for the development and further expansion of its C-390 supply chain worldwide sale after the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) reduced its KC-390 order to 22 units from 26 units that are likely will further reduce from the current 22 units to only 15 units after approval from the congress. has been told that Embraer officials have been making a beeline in India to meet top-ranking air force officials and senior defense ministry officials to promote tactical airlifter in the country and also scout for supply chain industrial partners from India.

Indian Air Force still needs 45-60 medium airlifter requirements that could have come in from the Indo-Russian Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) program if it was not scrapped due to the difference between India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and its Russian collaborator Ilyushin over the choice of engines to power Indo-Russian tactical airlifter.

While India wanted MTA to be powered by CFM International CFM56 or IAE V2500 turbofans, Russia was keen that India selects its Aviadvigatel PS-90A1 turbofans. India had plans to develop variants of MTA including special mission versions for electronic warfare, airborne early warning and control, reconnaissance and patrol, and airborne tankers that could have taken production orders from India alone over 80-100.

MTA was to have 20-22 tonne capacity, to be used for tactical transport and could have come close to C-390 in terms of loading carrying capacity of 23 tones. The KC-390 was designed to compete with the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules in the military tactical airlifter market and offers fierce competition for its American rival.

Compared to the C-130J, the KC-390 is expected to be 15% faster, carry an 18% heavier payload, and cost 41% less to purchase. Embraer is willing to offer India technology transfer and Indian system integration. Embraer is even willing to set up a production plant in India where aircraft will be manufactured from the raw material stage if India is willing to commit orders for sizeable numbers.

Desi MTA proposed

An interesting development that is taking place which can now confirm is that the design and development of Multi-mission tactical aircraft based on desi medium transport aircraft design also has been proposed at a high level that will see public-private partnership consortium to be executed under Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) model in which a private entity will join NAL/HAL/DRDO in design and manufacturing process.

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