IAF to receive 56 C-295 transport aircraft as government clears ‘Make in India’ deal
By Sanjay Maurya
- The government cleared a nearly USD 3 billion agreement to get 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for the IAF on 8th September.
- The aircraft will replace the IAF’s ageing fleet of Avro 748 transport planes.
- It was dubbed a “unique programme to boost indigenous capabilities” by the Defense Ministry.
The government cleared a long-awaited, nearly USD 3 billion agreement to get 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force on 8th September, marking a major ‘Make in India’ move. The aircraft will replace the IAF’s ageing fleet of Avro 748 transport planes, which first took to the skies in 1961.
According to a statement from the Defence Ministry, the first 16 of these aircraft would be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of the agreement being signed, while the remaining 40 will be manufactured in India over 10-year period by a consortium led by the Tata Group.
India clears C-295 aircraft deal
- The programme will enable the Indian private sector to join the technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation industry.
- According to an Airbus official, the initiative will improve India’s aerospace ecosystem.
- The programme will generate 600 highly skilled occupations directly, over 3,000 indirect jobs, and an additional 3,000 medium-skill job prospects.
- Airbus will fulfill its offset obligations by purchasing qualified products and services directly from Indian offset partners, boosting the economy even more.
Interestingly, despite having been in India for nearly five decades, this is Airbus’ first defence contract with the country since the 1960s. It is also the first initiative in India in which a private company will build a military aircraft.
It will be the country’s first-of-its-kind agreement, according to the ministry. The indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite will be installed on all aircraft, according to the statement.
According to the government, the C-295MW is a 5-10 tonne capacity transport aircraft with today’s technology that will replace the IAF’s outdated Avro aircraft. It also includes a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping of goods and troops.
It was dubbed a “unique programme to boost indigenous capabilities” by the Defense Ministry. The fleet will replace the Air Force’s Avro aircraft, which are twin-engine turboprop military transports and freighters with a 6-tonne cargo capacity of British origin. The transport plane will be purchased from Airbus Defence and Space S.A. in Spain, according to the government.
According to an Airbus official, the initiative will improve India’s aerospace ecosystem by including various MSMEs across the country in the manufacturing of aircraft parts.
The programme will enable the Indian private sector to join the technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation industry, resulting in lower imports and an estimated increase in exports, according to the statement.
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