HomeIndian DefenceIndia to get its first C-295 transport aircraft in Spain this Wednesday

India to get its first C-295 transport aircraft in Spain this Wednesday

New Delhi: India will receive the first of its 56 C-295 transport aircraft on Wednesday that will replace the ageing Avro fleet of the Indian Air Force, ThePrint has learnt.

IAF chief Air Chief Marshal (ACM) V R Chaudhari, who played a crucial role in the run-up to the contract during his time as the deputy chief in charge of procurement, will receive the first aircraft at the Airbus facility in Spain’s Seville.

The aircraft will then be flown to Hindan Air Force Station in India where a formal induction ceremony is likely to take place late this month.

Sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint that the second aircraft, each capable of carrying cargo up to 9 tonnes, will also be ready for test flying over the next 2-3 months. The second aircraft will be delivered to the IAF in May. 

According to the Rs 21,000-crore deal with Airbus Defence and Space, which Spain signed in September 2021, the first 16 aircraft will be delivered in ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain. The delivery of the 16 aircraft is to be completed by September 2025.

The remaining 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.

The first India-made aircraft will be delivered in 2026, and the remaining 39 will be delivered by 2031. As reported by ThePrint, work on the Main Constituent Assembly (MCA) Line at the TASL facility in Hyderabad began in July. 

Incidentally, this will be the first time in history that an Indian private company will make an aircraft.

The deal between Airbus and TATA will see nearly 90 per cent of the technology transfer. In terms of man hours, the aircraft will be built entirely  in India from the 30th aircraft onwards, which means that there will be no work done by Airbus on the rest of the order outside the country.

About 14,000 parts of the aircraft are being indigenised by the TATA Group at a rate of about 4,000 every year, and the only parts that will not be indigenised are those that are non-Airbus – like the landing gear, engine, and avionics.

A training centre for the C-295 pilots is coming up in Agra, and the work will be completed by the end of next year. Uttar Pradesh will also host a warehouse for the C-295 parts. 

India is also in talks with Airbus to set up a maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) hub for this aircraft, which is operated by a number of countries in the region, including the UAE, the Philippines, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Indonesia.

Also read: Army to buy next generation armoured recovery vehicles for plains and mountains


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