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C-295 transport plane: India gets first C-295 transport plane: Here is all you should know about the tactical military airlift

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In a significant milestone for the Indian Air Force (IAF), the first C-295 transport plane was officially handed over to the IAF during a ceremony held in Seville, Spain. This state-of-the-art aircraft has the capability to perform various missions, including special operations, disaster response, and maritime patrol duties.

Attendin the ceremony, The Chief of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, ssaid that the IAF is on track to become the largest operator of the C-295 aircraft. He highlighted, “The IAF order is for 56 aircraft. There is also a requirement for the aircraft by Coast Guard, Home Ministry, and in the future by the Indian Navy also. The numbers may go well beyond 56.”

Manufactured by global aircraft manufacturer Airbus at its Seville facility, the delivery of the first aircraft took place 10 days ahead of schedule. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari received the symbolic keys of the aircraft from Airbus, emphasizing the significance of this event for both the IAF and the nation.

He stated, “It is a major milestone not only for the IAF but for the whole country. This is for two reasons – first, for IAF, it improves our tactical airlift capabilities. For the nation, it marks the beginning of a new era. For Atmanirbhar Bharat, after the first 16 aircraft roll out from this plant, the 17th aircraft onwards will be made in India. It’s a big step for the Indian aviation industry where we will be manufacturing the first military transport aircraft in the country.”

Under the contract, 16 of the 56 C-295 aircraft will be manufactured in Spain, while the remaining 40 will be produced through a joint venture between Tata and Airbus at their facility in Vadodara, Gujarat. This joint venture marks a historic moment as it represents the first time a private consortium in India will manufacture a military aircraft. The final assembly line in Vadodara is set to become operational by November next year.

The contract stipulates that the remaining 15 aircraft being built in Spain will be delivered by the end of 2024. Meanwhile, the 40 aircraft being constructed in India are expected to be delivered by 2031, with the first one potentially rolling out in September 2026.Once India begins manufacturing these planes, it will join a select group of countries with the capability to produce the C-295, including the US, UK, Russia, France, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Brazil, China, and Japan.The C-295 aircraft will be equipped with indigenous electronic warfare systems and rear ramp doors for quick-reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo. The contract, valued at nearly Rs 22,000 crore, was signed in September 2021 and was led by Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari during his tenure as the Deputy Chief of Air Staff.

Key Features of the C-295 Transport Plane:

  • Capacity: 5-10 tonne transport aircraft
  • Passenger Capacity: Up to 71 troops or 49 para-troopers
  • Maximum Cruise Speed: 260 knots
  • Versatile Low-Level Flight Characteristics for Tactical Missions
  • Rear Ramp Door for Quick Reaction and Para-Dropping
  • Indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite by Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Limited
  • Powered by Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G Turboprop Engines
  • Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) Capability for Unprepared Airstrips
  • Medical Evacuation Capability with 24 stretchers and seven medical attendants.

The aircraft is expected to be formally inducted into service at a ceremony in Hindon at the end of September.

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