The Ministry of Defence (MoD) recently said it has signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space, Spain, to acquire 56 C-295MW transport aircraft worth ₹20,000 crore for the Indian Air Force.
The contract was signed following the approval accorded by the Cabinet Committee on Security earlier this month, the Ministry said in a statement.
Of the 56, 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India by the Tata consortium. All the deliveries will be completed within 10 years of signing of the contract. All 56 aircraft will be installed with indigenous electronic warfare suite.
The Ministry has also signed an offset contract with Airbus Defence and Space through which Airbus will discharge its offset obligations through direct purchase of eligible products and services from Indian offset partners. “The induction of C-295MW will be a significant step towards modernisation of the transport fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF). It is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro transport aircraft of IAF,” it said.
The aircraft is capable of operating from semi-prepared strips and has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo, it said.
“The aircraft will give a major boost to tactical airlift capability of IAF, especially in the Northern and North-Eastern sector and Andaman & Nicobar Islands,” it further said.
The project will provide a major boost to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ that offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into technology intensive and highly competitive aviation industry.
After completing the delivery, the subsequent aircraft manufactured in India can be exported to countries, which are cleared by the government. The programme will also involve development of specialised infrastructure in the form of hangars, buildings, aprons and taxiway, the Ministry added.
Our Mumbai Bureau adds: Tata Group Chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, in a statement said:
“this is a great step forward in the opening up of aviation and avionics projects in India,” and “this bold step in fully building this state-of-the-art multi-role aircraft in India in support of the ‘Make in India’ thrust to bolster the country’s equity framework.”
This is the first ‘Make in India’ aerospace programme in the private sector, involving the full development of a complete industrial ecosystem: from the manufacture to assembly, test and qualification, to delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft.
Under the contractual agreement, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain. The subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by the Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.
Ratan Tata further said the clearance for the said project “envisages total manufacturing of the aircraft in India. it will create a domestic supply chain capability to international standards, which has never been undertaken before.”
The said project aims to generate 15,000 skilled direct jobs and 10,000 indirect positions over 10 years.
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