The government got the nod from the Cabinet Committee on Security for the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space S.A, Spain for the Indian Air Force.
The Defence Ministry, in an official statement, said 16 aircraft will be procured in a flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of the contract signing, while the remaining 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India by a TATA led consortium within 10 years of signing the contract.
“The C-295MW aircraft is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of IAF. The aircraft has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo,” it said. “This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. All 56 aircraft will be installed with indigenously developed electronic warfare suites. The project will give a boost to aerospace ecosystem in India wherein several MSMEs spread over the country will be involved in manufacturing of parts of the aircraft.”
The ministry highlighted that the programme will provide major boost to the “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” of the Government as it offers a unique opportunity for the Indian Private Sector to enter into technology intensive and highly competitive aviation Industry. “The project will augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and expected to increase exports.”
The statement also said the programme 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 3000 indirect jobs and an additional 3000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh man hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India.
“It will involve development of specialized infrastructure in form of hangars, building, aprons and taxiways. During the process of manufacturing in India, 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,” the ministry said.
Furthermore, a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility for servicing the aircraft is to be set up in India before the completion of deliveries; and its expected that this facility will act as a regional MRO hub for various variants of C-295 aircraft.