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Embraer, the Brazilian aerospace manufacturer, is estimating that the Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking to procure 25-30 Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) for which Embraer has offered its C-390M Cargo Transporter. The IAF is facing increasing pressure from China on its north-eastern border, with austere airfields in the region requiring rugged transporters. The C-390M, with its maximum carrying capacity of 26 tonnes, is well-suited for these demanding operations.

“We believe that the C-390M is the perfect solution for the IAF’s MTA requirements,” said a senior Embraer executive. “The aircraft is proven, reliable, and versatile, and it offers the best value for money.”

The IAF currently operates both C-130s and C-17 Globemaster strategic transports, but observers believe the C-390M could add useful capacity. The aircraft is capable of transporting a wide range of cargo, including troops, vehicles, and equipment. It can also operate from short, unpaved runways, making it ideal for operations in remote areas.

Embraer has already submitted a proposal to the IAF in response to its Request For Information (RFI) for MTA. The RFI did not specify the number of MTA required, but vendors have been asked to provide a “Rough Order of Magnitude [ROM] cost of aircraft and associated equipment” for a batch of 40, 60, and 80 aircraft.

“We are confident that our proposal will be the most competitive,” said the Embraer executive. “We are committed to working with the IAF to meet its needs.”

Embraer is facing competition from Airbus and Lockheed Martin for the MTA contract. Airbus is offering its A-400M, which has a maximum carrying capacity of 37 tonnes. Lockheed Martin is offering its C-130, which has a maximum carrying capacity of close to 20 tonnes. The IAF is expected to decide on the MTA contract in the coming months. Embraer is confident that its C-390M is the best choice for the IAF, and it is committed to working with the IAF to meet its needs.

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