India signs mega-deal with Airbus to purchase 56 C-295 military transport aircraft
India on Friday reached an almost 21,000 crore rupee deal with Airbus Defense and Space to purchase 56 C-295 transport planes to replace the IAF’s aging Avro-748 planes as part of a project that involves the manufacture of military aircraft in India for the first time by a private company.
Under the agreement, Airbus will deliver the first 16 fly-away aircraft from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain, within four years. The following 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India as part of a partnership between the two companies and all deliveries will be made by 2031.
The aircraft is capable of operating from semi-prepared strips and has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and parachuting of troops and cargo. The aircraft will give a major boost to the IAF’s tactical airlift capability, particularly in the northern and northeastern sector and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, ” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The mega-contract was signed two weeks after being approved by the Prime Minister-led Cabinet Committee on Security.
The ministry said all deliveries would be completed within 10 years of signing the contract, and the planes made in India could then be exported to countries after government approval.
Airbus officials have said the first plane is expected to be delivered in two years.
The ministry said the introduction of the aircraft with a capacity of 5-10 tons will be an important step towards modernizing the Indian Air Force (IAF) transport fleet. Avro aircraft were first inducted approximately 60 years ago. The IAF will become the 35th C295 operator in the world.
Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata congratulated Airbus Defense, TASL and the Ministry of Defense on signing the contract, saying it was a “big step forward” in opening up projects to aviation and avionics in India. In a signed statement posted on Twitter, he said the project will create a national supply chain capacity that meets international standards, something that has never been undertaken before. Airbus said the first 16 planes will be delivered more than four years after the contract is implemented and all planes will be equipped with a local Electronic Warfare Suite (EWS). “This contract will support the further development of India’s aerospace ecosystem, bringing investment and 15,000 direct skilled jobs and 10,000 indirect positions over the next 10 years,” said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defense and Space.
Sukaran Singh, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tata Advanced Systems Limited, described the conclusion of the deal as a proud moment for Tatas and a âmilestoneâ for the Indian military manufacturing ecosystem. For the first time, a private Indian company will manufacture an aircraft entirely in India. This company demonstrates the capabilities of Tata Advanced Systems as a defense manufacturer to build globally competitive complex platforms in India, ” he said.
Singh said Ratan Tata, in his capacity as chairman of the Tata group, helped set up the project.
TASL and Airbus Defense and Space have yet to decide on the location of the manufacturing hub.
More than 100 sites across India have been reviewed and rated over the years. We looked at aspects such as the length of the airstrip, the availability of infrastructure, social indicators and the weather. We still have to make a decision. We have to make sure all stakeholders are happy, ” Singh said at a press conference.
Jean-Brice Dumont, executive vice president (military aircraft) of Airbus, said the contract marks the start of a new industrial journey to India and that the project is “extremely important”. This is not just a defense project, it marks a new beginning and will place India as a leading global player in aircraft manufacturing. We are unleashing India’s potential through this project, ” he said.
When asked if Airbus was considering building planes in India for the export market, he replied that it could be a possibility but that the immediate priority is to execute the current project. RÃ©mi Maillard, president of Airbus India and head of the South Asia region, said all major components of the aircraft will be made in India.
âIt’s not about sharing a technology, we’re talking about building an entire plane in India,â he said.
The Defense Ministry said it has also signed a compensation contract with Airbus Defense and Space under which it will meet its compensation obligations by purchasing eligible products and services directly from its Indian partners. In a statement, Airbus said “Make in India” is central to its strategy in India, with the company steadily increasing the country’s contribution to its global product portfolio. He said the C295 program will see Airbus bring its full package of world-class aircraft manufacturing and maintenance to India together with its industrial partners, including the Tatas and major public sector defense units such as Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Ltd.
With a proven ability to operate from short or unprepared airstrips, the C295 is used for the tactical transport of up to 71 soldiers or 50 paratroopers, and for logistics operations to locations that are not accessible to personnel. current heavier planes, he said. The aircraft can parachute paratroopers and loads, and also be used for casualty evacuation or medical treatment. The aircraft is capable of performing special missions as well as disaster response and maritime patrol missions.
“The IAF becomes the 35th C295 operator in the world, with a program reaching 278 aircraft, of which 200 are already in service and have booked more than half a million flight hours,” said Airbus.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)