NEW YORK: A consortium led by Tata group and Airbus will manufacture 40 C-295 transport aircraft in Gujarat, the Centre announced on Thursday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the facility in Vadodara on October 30.
“For the first time, the Airbus C-295 aircraft will be manufactured outside of Europe. This is very significant for the domestic aerospace sector,” defence secretary Ajay Kumar said, adding: “The total cost of the project is Rs 21,935 crore.”
The facility will eventually cater to export of the aircraft as well as for additional orders by the Indian Air Force.
Here’s all you need to know about the deal and the aircraft:
- In September last year, the Cabinet Committee on Security had approved the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from M/s Airbus Defence and Space SA, Spain. “As part of the contract, 16 aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition and 40 will be manufactured in India by the Indian Aircraft Contractor, TATA Consortium of Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) led by TASL,” said defence secretary Ajay Kumar.
- According to an official statement, the first 16 fly-away aircraft are scheduled to be received between September 2023 and August 2025.
- The first Made in India aircraft is expected in September 2026.
- Defence ministry officials said 96% of the work that Airbus does in its facility in Spain would be done in the Indian facility. “The aircraft will have one of the highest indigenous content. The aircraft built in India would be supplied from 2026 to 2031,” said officials.
- Engines, landing gear and avionics will be provided by Airbus Defence and Space and integrated on the aircraft by the TATA Consortium.
- All 56 aircraft will be fitted with indigenous Electronic Warfare suite to be developed by state-run Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Limited.
- After completion of delivery of 56 aircraft to the IAF, Airbus Defence and Space will be allowed to sell the aircraft manufactured in India to civil operators and export to countries which are cleared by the government of India.
- The defence ministry said manufacturing of over 13,400 detail parts, 4,600 sub-assemblies and all the seven major component assemblies will be undertaken in India.
- TATA Consortium has identified more than 125 in-country MSME suppliers spread over seven states.
- The deal is expected to generate 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3,000 indirect jobs and an additional 3,000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh man hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector.
- Nearly 240 engineers will be trained at the Airbus facility in Spain for the project.
- The C-295MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro-748 aircraft of the IAF.
- It can carry around 40-45 paratroopers or around 70 passengers.
- The aircraft can operate from Advanced Landing Grounds and even unprepared runways.
- It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo.
IAF to become largest operator of C-295
The Indian Air Force will ultimately become the largest operator of this C-295 transport aircraft, said IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal Sandeep Singh.
The first IAF squadron of C-295 transport aircraft will also be based in Vadodara.
The aircraft is expected to strengthen the logistic capabilities of the IAF and can be used for civilian purposes too.
“The project offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into technology intensive and highly competitive aviation industry. It will augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and expected increase in exports,” Kumar said.