SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, Brazil, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The first of three EMB 145 Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft built by Embraer of Brazil for India has completed its maiden flight.
Embraer said the plane performed as expected and all scheduled tests were completed successfully.
"This flight concludes another important phase in this program and starts the flight test campaign," said Eduardo Bonini Santos Pinto, senior vice president of operations and chief operations officer of Embraer Defense and Security. "We are moving toward delivery of the first aircraft during the first half 2012."
The EMB 145 is based on the company's ERJ 145 regional jet. It features an in-flight refueling system, capability for satellite communications as well as aerodynamic and structural changes for installation of advanced electronic systems being developed by India's Defense Research and Development Organization and its Center for Airborne Systems.
The Indian air force operates four Embraer jets for VIP transportation and a fifth is being used by the border security force.
Embraer said that due to growing private and government business in India, it has appointed local companies Indamer Pvt. Ltd. and Air Works Pvt. Ltd. as authorized service providers.