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March 4, 2024


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Embraer Defense & Security and Mahindra announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the objective of jointly fulfilling the acquisition of the C-390 Millennium multi-mission aircraft by the Indian Air Force in its upcoming Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) procurement project. The MoU was signed at the Embassy of Brazil in New Delhi.   

We are honored to announce this MoU with Mahindra . India has a diverse and strong defense and aerospace industry and we have chosen Mahindra as our partner to jointly pursue the MTA program” said Mr Bosco da Costa Junior, President & CEO, Embraer Defense & Security. “India is a key market for Embraer and we fully support India’s ambitions for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. We see this partnership as a symbol of strengthening relations between Brazil and India and a way to foster Global South cooperation.”   

Embraer and Mahindra will engage with the Indian Air Force to identify the next steps of the MTA program, as well as contact the local aerospace industry in India to start developing the industrialization plan for the project.  

Mr Vinod Sahay, President Aerospace & Defence Sector and Member of Group Executive Board, Mahindra said, “We are proud to start this partnership with Embraer, a company that is known for its engineering excellence and a unique portfolio of aircraft and systems. The C-390 Millennium is the most advanced military airlifter in the market, and we believe that this partnership will not only bolster the operational prowess of the Indian Air Force, but also provide an efficient industrialization solution that aligns seamlessly with the objectives of Make in India.”   

The MoU was signed by Embraer Defense & Security and Mahindra Defence Systems, a 100% owned subsidiary of Mahindra, that focuses on armored transport and security-related products including electronics.  

Embraer has an established presence in India across the fields of defense, commercial aviation and executive aviation. In August 2023, Embraer held a C-390 Millennium Day in New Delhi, India to deepen engagement with the local aerospace industry which was very well attended by the Indian ecosystem. 

Embraer is gaining momentum on the C-390; its first aircraft for the Hungarian Air Force just completed its first flight.

We noted that it is time for FALs to be built in India as that nation keeps buying aircraft at a torrid rate.  Airbus is increasing its supply chain footprint. We also have a view on Embraer joining the duopoly.

JP Morgan views today’s news: “… an order from India could reach between 30 and 60 aircraft and add up to US$7.2bn.”  An order of this magnitude should be viewed in context – Embraer has orders for 11 from European customers.  The potential Indian order is significant.

If Embraer and Mahindra win the competition, they will have an excellent foundation to grow beyond the military.  Mahindra falls comfortably into the national “Make in India” category. Moreover, Mahindra Aerospace is part of the supply chain for Airbus, Boeing, and Mitsubishi.

Given the supply chain stress, tying up with Mahindra was a good move for Embraer.  The path to an Embraer commercial FAL in India is becoming clearer.  What was known as “BRICS” is now called “Global South.”  India is nowhere near the south, but the blocks have been in place since the BRICS days.

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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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