India will get its first C-295 tactical military aircraft built by Airbus in Seville, Spain. The Chief of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari is in Spain to take the delivery of the aircraft.
“The aircraft would be flying from Spain after the ceremony, a media agency quoted the defence officials as saying. Upon arrival, it will be formally inducted into the inventory of the transport aircraft fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Hindon Airbase, Ghaziabad.
Group Captain PS Negi will be flying the aircraft to India with stopovers at Malta, Egypt and Bahrain before landing at Vadodara air base in India.
On the handing over of C-295 transport aircraft to India, Airbus Head of Defence and Aerospace Jean-Brice Dumont in Spain said that Make in India and Prime Minister Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat are at the heart of his company and pointed to his team members saying they will have to learn ‘Bharat’
In 2021, India inked a major mega Rs 21,935 crores deal for the delivery of fifty-six C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force, Under the agreement, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in flyway condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain within four years and the remaining subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by the TATA Advanced Systems (TASL) in Vadodara, Gujarat as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.
As per the Indian Air Force, all fifty-six aircraft will be equipped and installed with Electronic Warfare Suite (EWS) to enhance its capabilities in operational and forward areas. It is worth mentioning that this would be the first of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private entity.
Capabilities of the Aircraft
The C-295 aircraft is a transport aircraft that has a capacity of 5-10 tonnes. It is enabled with contemporary technologies and will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of the IAF. It is a twin turbo-aircraft that has the capability of covering long distances with fully geared troops and can even land on small airstrips or runways.
It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo. The transport aircraft is capable of carrying up to nine tonnes of payload or as many as 71 troops at a maximum cruise speed of 260 knots with a short and long take-off capability from semi-prepared surfaces in hilly and mountainous terrain.
It also has the capability of being equipped for air-to-air refuelling of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. It can cruise up at altitudes up to 30,000 feet comes with retractable landing gear and features an unobstructed 12.69-meter-long pressurised cabin.
According to Airbus, the C-295 aircraft is powered by two Pratt and Whitney PW1237G turboprop engines that will provide extreme and excellent manoeuvrability and outstanding hot and high performance with fuel consumption for a very long endurance of up to thirteen hours aloft.
The Aircraft acquired by India will be equipped with indigenous radar warning systems and receivers and missile approach warning systems developed by Bharat Electronics Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited will provide a countermeasure dispensing system for military plane
How will it benefit India?
This deal is a crucial push for the Central Government’s Make In India initiative, making India the largest operator of the C-295 aircraft. It will be replacing Avro-748 planes procured in the 1960s. More than 14000 parts of the C-295 will be made in India and about 3500 components will be industrialised every year.
The project will strengthen India’s aerial aerospace ecosystem, wherein several MSMEs spread across the country will produce components of the aircraft and generate 15,000 high-skilled jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs in the next decade and reduce import dependencies by enhancing domestic aviation manufacturing.
Amid potential threats from China and Pakistan, the multi-role tactical airliner will play a significant role in keeping India’s defences strong. The C-295 final assembly line in India is the first largest concrete Make-In-India campaign defence programme in the private sector that will unlock the industrial value chain of design, manufacturing, assembly, testing, delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft.