New Delhi: Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space, Spain for the acquisition of 56 C-295 MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force, on Friday. The MoD 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. These contracts were signed following the approval accorded by the Cabinet Committee on Security earlier this month.
The induction of C-295 MW will be a significant step towards the 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. The aircraft is capable of operating from semi-prepared strips and has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops & cargo. The aircraft will give a major boost to the tactical airlift capability of IAF, especially in the Northern and North-Eastern sectors and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
"The project will provide a major boost to the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan' of the government that offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into the technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation industry", an official statement from the Ministry said. Out of 56, 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India by TATA Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) Consortium. All the deliveries will be completed within ten years of signing the contract. All 56 aircraft will be installed with the indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.
After completion of the delivery, the subsequent aircraft manufactured in India can be exported to countries that are cleared by the government of India. The project will give a boost to the aerospace ecosystem in India wherein several MSMEs spread over the country will be involved in the manufacturing of parts of the aircraft. The program will also involve the development of specialised infrastructure in the form of hangars, buildings, aprons and taxiways.
"This programme is a unique initiative of the government to strengthen the indigenous capabilities and boost 'Make in India", said the statement.