Tata-Airbus C-295MW Aircraft for Indian Air Force: In a major boost to local defence and aerospace manufacturing, a consortium of Airbus and India’s Tata Group has finalized Vadodara city in western state of Gujarat to manufacture 40 of the total 56 transport aircraft that have been ordered by the government. According to the ministry of defence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would lay the foundation stone of the plant in his home state on Sunday (October 30).
In a major victory for Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had approved the procurement of 56 C-295MW aircraft for the Indian Air Force and the contract was signed on September 24, 2021 for the supply of aircraft and associated systems.
India’s defence secretary Thursday informed the media that as a 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.
This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. The total cost of the project is $ 2.67 billion (INR 21,935 crore). The aircraft can be used for civilian purposes as well.
READ: German Military testfires high-energy anti-drone laser weapon system
Airbus C-295 delivery schedule
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 from September 2026.
Airbus C-295MW Transport Aircraft
C-295MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo. Short take-off and land from semi-prepared surfaces is another of its features. The aircraft will strengthen the logistic capabilities of the IAF.
READ: Rafael-Hensoldt join hands to boost Eurofighter’s electronic warfare suit
READ: Austrian firm Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100 shows ASW capability in Nato exercise
Self-reliance in defence
According to defence officials, 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.
Also, 96% of the total man hour work per aircraft that Airbus employs at its manufacturing facility at Spain will be undertaken in India by the TATA Consortium.
Make in India in defence
Officials said that manufacturing of over 13,400 Detail Parts, 4,600 sub-assemblies and all the seven Major Component Assemblies will be undertaken in India, along with tools, jigs and testers.
Various systems such as engines, landing gear, avionics, EW suite etc. will be provided by Airbus Defence & Space and integrated on the aircraft by the TATA Consortium.
The aircraft will be tested as an integrated system by the TATA Consortium. The aircraft will be flight tested and delivered through a Delivery Centre at the TATA Consortium facility.
READ: India deploys locally built combat helicopters at Pakistan border
Indian Electronic Warfare Suit for C-295
All 56 aircraft will be fitted with indigenous Electronic Warfare suite of Indian DPSUs – Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Limited.
After completion of delivery of 56 aircraft to IAF, Airbus Defence & 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.
READ: Seven countries expressed interest in India’s Tejas fighter jets: Govt
The TATA Consortium has identified more than 125 medium and small companies spread over seven states to participate in the project. Officials said this will act as a catalyst in employment generation in the aerospace ecosystem of the country and is expected to generate 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3,000 indirect jobs.
Officials said additional 3,000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh man hours (4.25 million man hours) of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India. Nearly 240 engineers will be trained at Airbus facility in Spain.
*1 USD = 82.3091 INR (As on October 27, 2021).
READ: India pushes for local development of smart ammunition