Indian Air Force C-295 MW Aicraft: India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh Monday formally inducted a new medium transport aircraft manufactured by the European defence company Airbus Defence and Space into the service of Indian Air Force. This is first of the 56 Airbus C-295 MW aircraft on order by India. While 16 aircraft will be delivered to India in the flyaway condition, a joint consortium of Airbus and India’s Tata Group will manufacture remaining 40 C-295 MW aircraft in Vadodara in western state of Gujarat.
Rajnath Singh said Airbus C-295 MW medium lift tactical aircraft is capable of taking off and landing from unprepared landing grounds and it will replace the HS-748 Avro aircraft.
“The induction of C-295 will bolster medium lift tactical capability of the IAF. The Defence and Aerospace sectors are the two important pillars for making India self-reliant in coming years,” said the minister.
On September 13, Airbus Defence and Space had officially handed over in fly-away condition the first of 56 C295 aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Spain to begin replacing its ageing Avros-748 fleet.
The C295, in transport configuration and with an indigenous electronic warfare suite, had left the Airbus’ production site in Seville, Spain, for Delhi, India earlier this month.
The first 16 C295s of the 56 aircraft on order will be assembled at the San Pablo Sur site in Seville, Spain, with the second aircraft due to be delivered in May 2024 and the next 14 rolled out at a rate of one per month until August 2025.
First Made in India C295 will be rolled out in 2026
To boost self-reliance in the defence-manufacturing sector in India, the remaining 40 C295s of the IAF order will be manufactured and assembled – in partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) – at a Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Vadodara in western India.
The production of components of these aircraft has already started in the Main Constituent Assembly (MCA) facility in Hyderabad, southern India. These parts will be shipped to the Vadovara FAL, which is expected to be operational by November 2024.
The first ‘Make in India’ C295 will roll out of the Vadodara FAL in September 2026 in what will be a milestone for the Indian aerospace industry; the final aircraft expected to be delivered to the IAF by August 2031.
With 283 orders from 41 operators, the C295 is the undisputed leader in its segment and stands out for its versatility. It can carry up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers, airdrop cargo, be used for medical evacuation and take off and land in short and unpaved runways.