Airbus C-295MW Transport Aircraft: In a major victory for European defence and space giant Airbus in Indian defence market, the company has won the order to supply 56 C-295MW medium lift transport aircraft to Indian Air Force.
The country’s apex decision making body for defence procurement, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), Wednesday approved the procurement of 56 Airbus C-295MW transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain.
While 16 aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within four years of signing of the contract, remaining 40 aircraft will be manufactured in the country by a consortium led by India’s TATA Group within ten years of signing of the contract.
This is the first such project in which military aircraft will be manufactured in the country by a private company. According to people familiar with the matter, all 56 aircraft will have an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite (EWS).
Airbus C-295 MW Aircraft
C-295MW aircraft is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonnes capacity with the latest technology in its segment and it will replace IAF’s ageing Avro aircraft.
With 6 tonnes of load, the aircraft will have a range of 2,000 nautical miles.
The aircraft has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo.
Make in India in Defence
The project will give a boost to the aerospace ecosystem in India wherein several MSMEs spread over the country will be involved in the manufacturing of different parts of the aircraft.
According to officials, the programme will provide a major boost to the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (a self-reliant India scheme) of the Government as it offers a unique opportunity for the Indian Private Sector to enter into a technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation Industry.
The project will augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and an expected increase in exports.
A large number of parts, sub-assemblies and major component assemblies of aerostructure are scheduled to be manufactured in the country.
The programme will act as a catalyst in employment generation in the aerospace ecosystem of the country. According to an estimate, the programme is expected to generate 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3,000 indirect jobs and an additional 3,000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 4.2 million man-hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India.
It will involve the development of specialized infrastructure in form of hangars, buildings, aprons and taxiways.
It is expected that all the suppliers of TATA Consortium who will be involved in special processes will gain and maintain globally recognized National Aerospace and Defence Contractors Accreditation Program (NADCAP) accreditation.
Development of MRO facility
According to officials, before completion of deliveries, ‘D’ Level servicing facility (MRO) for C-295MW aircraft are scheduled to be set up in India.
The facility is expected to act as a regional maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) hub for different versions of the Airbus C-295 aircraft.
In addition, the original equipment manufacturer will also discharge its offset obligations through direct purchase of eligible products and services from Indian offset partners giving a further boost to the economy.
The contract is aimed at strengthening the indigenous capabilities by giving a fillip to the Make in India programme.