New transport aircraft are set to be delivered to India under a co-manufacturing arrangement.
India has formalised its acquisition of 56 Airbus C-295 aircraft to replace the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) existing AVRO fleet.
The deal involves the full development of a complete industrial ecosystem as part of the ‘Make in India’ program, with India set to host manufacture to assembly, test and qualification, and delivery and maintenance.
As part of the deal, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain, with the subsequent 40 aircraft assembled by the Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India.
The first 16 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered over four years after the contract implementation.
“This contract will support the further development of India’s aerospace ecosystem, bringing investment and 15,000 skilled direct jobs and 10,000 indirect positions over the coming 10 years,” Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, said.
“The C-295 has proven again as the segment leader, and with the addition of India as a new operator, the type will enlarge its footprint even more, not only on the operational aspects but on its own industrial and technological development.”
Sukaran Singh, managing director and CEO of TASL, added, “This is a moment of pride for Tatas and a milestone for the Indian military manufacturing ecosystem.
“For the first time, an Indian private company will be wholly manufacturing an aircraft in India.
“This endeavour demonstrates Tata Advanced Systems’ capabilities as a defence manufacturer to build globally competitive complex platforms in India."
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The C-295 can be used for tactical transport, carrying up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers, and for logistic operations to locations inaccessible to current heavier aircraft.
The aircraft can also be deployed for casualty or medical evacuation (medevac).
The IAF has become the 35th C-295 operator, with the program reaching 278 aircraft, 200 of which are already in operation and have booked more than half a million flight-hours.