India has officially inducted its first C-295 transport aircraft into the Indian Air Force (IAF), marking a significant enhancement of the force’s tactical lift capabilities. The aircraft was formally handed over to the IAF in Seville, Spain, and subsequently arrived in Vadodara, India, on September 20. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh performed a traditional ceremony by placing the Swastika symbol on the aircraft and handed it over to Air Force Chief VR Chaudhary.
The C-295, designed for various military purposes, will be stationed at the Agra Air Force Station, one of India’s largest air force bases. This location is significant as it houses the Airborne Refueling Squadron and Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.
The choice of Agra for the deployment of the C-295 is strategic due to the presence of India’s largest paratrooping training school in the city. This specialized military aircraft is well-suited for paratrooper operations.
Vishal Sharma, Secretary of the Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber, emphasized that India has strengthened its aerial capabilities with the induction of the C-295. The aircraft can serve multiple purposes, including military logistics supply, troop transport, and emergency operations.
India plans to acquire a total of 56 C-295 planes from Spain, which will replace the aging fleet of Avro 748 aircraft. The Avro aircraft have been in service with the Indian Air Force for over six decades. While the aircraft has been assigned to the IAF’s 11 Squadron, stationed at Vadodara Air Force Station, it will be stationed at the Agra Air Force Station, reinforcing India’s strategic airlift capabilities.