'Major milestone': IAF chief receives first C-295 transport aircraft made for India by Airbus
PTC News Desk: Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, the Chief of Air Staff, received the first C-295 transport aircraft built for India by global aircraft maker Airbus on Wednesday at a facility in Seville, Spain.
The keys to the aircraft were handed over by Airbus officials to Indian Air Force Chief Chaudhari.
After receiving the first C-295 transport aircraft, the IAF chief stated that it is a major milestone for the entire country and a stepping stone for Atmanirbhar Bharat.
"It is a major milestone not only for IAF but for the whole country. This is for two reasons - first, for IAF it improves our tactical airlift capabilities by leaps and bounds. For a nation, it marks the beginning of a new era," Chaudhari stated.
For Atmanirbhar Bharat, "after the first 16 aircraft roll out from this plant, the 17th aircraft onwards will be made in India. It's a big step for the Indian aviation industry where we will be manufacturing the first military transport aircraft in the country," he said.
The aircraft is the first of 16 C-295s to be built in Spain, with the remainder 40 being built in an Indian facility in Gujarat's Vadodara under a joint venture between Tata and Airbus.
The aircraft is slated to be formally brought into service in Hindan in September last week.
As Deputy Chief of Air Staff, the Indian Air Force chief was personally involved in the contract at critical phases, leading the contract negotiations.
The Indian Defense Ministry and Airbus Defence and Space, Spain inked a contract in September 2021 for the procurement of 56 C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force. The C-295MW aircraft is a 5-10 tonne transport aircraft with modern technology that will replace the Indian Air Force's ageing Avro aircraft.
The aircraft is equipped with a rear ramp door for quick response and paradropping of troops and cargo. Sixteen aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of the contract's signing, while TATA Consortium will produce forty aircraft in India within ten years of the contract's signing.
This is the first initiative of its kind in which a private company will produce a military aircraft in India.
An indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite will be deployed on all 56 aircraft. According to a press statement from the Ministry of Defence, the project will improve India's aerospace ecosystem by including various MSMEs spread over the country in the manufacturing of aircraft parts.
The program will help the government's 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan' by providing a unique chance for the Indian private sector to enter a technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation industry.
The project is planned to boost domestic aviation manufacturing, resulting in reduced reliance on imports and an increase in exports.
- With inputs from agencies