Tuesday 11 August 2020, 08:48 PM
India must acquire Brazilian Embraer Aircraft Company: Dr. R.K. Tyagi
By Sushil Sharma | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 5/4/2020 11:01:36 AM
India must acquire Brazilian Embraer Aircraft Company: Dr. R.K. Tyagi

New Delhi: The mantra to success is, ‘When opportunity knocks, answer the door.’ India is striving hard to be a successful nation in the field of aerospace but missing an opportunity has been a negative factor in failing to achieve this goal. There was a golden opportunity in the 60s when India was at the verge of developing its own fighter aircraft when a German engineer Kurt Tank had offered his services to develop an indigenous aircraft engine for the indigenous fighter aircraft HF24 Marut being developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

Due to myopic vision and policy lapse, this project could not enter into the second stage of developing indigenous aircraft engine and there after we could not come out of our dependency on foreign made engines. Had that opportunity been grabbed with both hands, India would have become a fighter exporting country long back.

India has been trying hard for decades to build its own civil aircraft but so far no progress is visible. Some years ago, HAL along with National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) had joined hands to develop a 60-80 seater commercial aircraft but no significant progress is seen so far.

Only recently a new opportunity has emerged on the horizon for India. A few days ago deal between Boeing and Brazilian Embraer Aircraft Company failed. Boeing negotiated for two years and lately refused to acquire the Brazilian company.

Former HAL Chairman Dr. R.K. Tyagi

 

Aerospace expert and former HAL Chairman Dr. R.K. Tyagi, is of the view that India must look into this opportunity seriously and acquire Embraer. He has written a letter to this effect to the Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Puri and urged him to consider grabbing this opportunity. In his letter Dr. Tyagi writes, ‘India has been pursuing a programme to manufacture a civil aircraft for almost three decades with limited success. With the downturn in aviation Embraer market capitalisation has dropped to about US$ 1.2 billion. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for Indian aviation to acquire a suitable stake in M/s Embraer.’

On asking why he feels Embraer could be a suitable aircraft for India to manufacture? He said, ‘As is known, Embraer makes single aisle state of the art E2 jet and the ERJ 145 series single aisle aircraft for seating capacities ranging from 30-110 passengers jet aircraft - sales of which have exceeded more than 1000 aircraft. Versions of the aircraft arc also configurable for Maritime Patrol, Cargo, VVIP flights and as Executive Jets. Prima facie, these aircraft are highly suitable for Regional Connectivity under the UDAN scheme. By some estimates India would require 350-500 such aircraft catering to commercial and defence requirements by 2035.

According to Dr. Tyagi, ‘This aircraft is already in use in India for civil and military aviation including DRDO's AEW&CS program. Indian MROs also have full competency for its maintenance/mods.’ Last year India had conducted aerial surgical strike against Pakistan at Balakot, DRDO developed AEW&CS also referred as Netra, played a vital role in guiding Indian fighters during the operation. India bought five Embraer ECJ 135 Legacy aircraft in 2003. Four are with the IAF and one with the BSF. Later, India signed a deal for purchase of three Embrael ER145 for developing AEW&CS fleet. 

Dr. Tyagi said that in his letter to the Civil Aviation Minister, he emphasized on the benefits of Embraer acquisition. He told that apart from the possibility for phased manufacturing in India, there is also the potential to attract OEMs of aircraft engines, wheels and brakes, landing gears, avionics etc to set up NIRO/manufacturing in India since the scale and size of the business are potentially sustainable. It will also add to indigenous design and engineering skills.

He has also underlined the following points to be considered by the ministry:

(a) The extant opportunity be seized before other players, potentially China, enter the scene and pitch for the Embraer stake.

(b) An interim Expression of Interest may be communicated to the Government of Brazil to bid time.

(c) India actively considers acquiring a 51% stake into Embraer either through a SPV created by equity participation by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited acting alone or in partnership with the private sector.

He urged the minister to constitute a team of experts to delve deep into this proposal so that a viable deal can be worked out. Since India is a member of BRICS group and India has a very cordial relationship with Brazil, there is every possibility to strike a good deal with Brazil.

Tags:

mantra,opportunity,aerospace,Kurt Tank,HF24,HAL,aircraft,NAL,manufacture,civil,

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