Embraer believes it stands to benefit from the Indian military’s desire to maximize commonality in its fleet of aircraft in a bid to control maintenance costs. Five of the Brazilian manufacturer’s Legacy jets are in use with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Border Security Force for functions such as transporting government officials and visiting foreign dignitaries. In addition, Embraer Defense and Security has collaborated with India’s Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) to develop an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platforms based on the ERJ-145 regional airliner (and designated R-99). Two of these entered service in 2012 and a third is due to be delivered in 2013.
The IAF has been in charge of the maintenance of its Legacy fleet since they entered service and, according to Embraer, it is well placed to now support the R-99s due to the high degree of commonality with the smaller jets. There are also advantages in operating both Embraer types when it comes to pilot training. “The installation of the mission equipment developed by DRDO is in progress,” said an Embraer spokesman. “The collaboration with the DRDO has been just great. There are lots of synergies between our people and we could not be happier with the interaction between them. The development of the platforms for DRDO has been smooth, and we are happy with the performance of the aircraft.”