The first C-295 aircraft for India has taken off from the Airbus Defense Manufacturing facility in Seville, southern Spain. Social media has been flooded with photos and videos of military aircraft leaving the Airbus Defense and Space San Pablo site, which houses military transport operations, as well as the final assembly line (FAL) for the A400M airlifter with the twin-turboprop C295 and four. turboprop engine. The aircraft is the first of 16 medium-lift tactical transport aircraft that will be delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in flyaway condition.
In September 2021, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved the purchase of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from Airbus Defence, following which the Ministry of Defense signed a contract for the acquisition of the aircraft along with related equipment.
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The induction of the aircraft as a replacement for the aging Avro aircraft of the Indian Air Force is being seen as another step towards modernization of the country’s air force. A year later, Airbus and Tata Advanced Systems entered into a collaboration to manufacture and assemble the C-295 aircraft for the IAF.
Under the agreement, Tata Advanced Systems was selected by Airbus as the Indian Production Agency (IPA). It will not only produce 40 fly-away C-295 aircraft from its facilities but will also provide MRO support and service for a total of 56 aircraft to be subsequently procured by the IAF.
In October 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for a transport aircraft manufacturing project in Vadodara, Gujarat, giving a major boost to the `Make in India` initiative and domestic aviation manufacturing.
21,935 crore project, the first of its kind, wherein a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company, involving full development of a complete industrial ecosystem – from manufacturing to assembly, testing and qualification, delivery, and full lifecycle maintenance of the aircraft.
The first 16 fly-away aircraft are due to be received between September 2023 and August 2025, while the first ‘Made in India’ aircraft is expected from September 2026.
The C-295MW, a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology, is expected to strengthen the IAF’s logistics capabilities. It has a rear ramp door for quick response and para-dropping of troops and cargo. Short take-off/landing from semi-prepared surfaces is one of its other features. This aircraft can also be used for civilian purposes.
The Ministry of Defense has stated that the project provides a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter the technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation industry. This will lead to increase in domestic aviation manufacturing which will result in less dependence on imports and expected increase in exports.
More than 13,400 detail parts, 4,600 sub-assemblies and all seven major component assemblies will be manufactured in India, as well as tools, jigs and testers. In addition, 96 percent of the total man-hours of work per aircraft planned at Airbus’ manufacturing facility in Spain will be done by the Tata consortium in India.
Various systems, such as engines, landing gear, avionics, and EW suite, among others, will be provided by Airbus Defense and Space and integrated into the aircraft by the Tata consortium. All 56 aircraft will also be fitted with indigenous Electronic Warfare suite from Indian DPSUs – Bharat Electronics Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited.
After the delivery of 56 aircraft to the IAF, Airbus will be allowed to sell the aircraft manufactured in India to civil operators and export them to countries that the Indian government approves.
With IANS inputs