India has formalized the acquisition of 56 Airbus C295 aircraft to replace the Indian Air Force (IAF) old AVRO fleet.
It is the first “Make in India” aerospace program in the private sector that encompasses the full development of a complete industrial ecosystem: from manufacturing to assembly, testing and qualification, to delivery and maintenance of the entire life cycle of the aircraft.
According to the contractual agreement, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in “fly-away” condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain. The other 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.
The first 16 aircraft will be delivered over four years after the contract has been signed. All IAF C295s are delivered in transport configuration and equipped with their own Electronic Warfare Suite.
“The C295 has once again proven to be the segment leader, and with the addition of India as a new operator, the type will expand its presence not only in operational aspects, but also in terms of its own industrial and technological development,” said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defense and Space.
Sukaran Singh, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tata Advanced Systems Limited, said, “This is a moment of pride for Tatas and a milestone for the Indian military manufacturing ecosystem. For the first time, a private Indian company will manufacture an aircraft entirely in India.
“This endeavor demonstrates the capabilities of Tata Advanced Systems as an armaments manufacturer to build globally competitive complex platforms in India.”
Under the C295 program, Airbus will work with leading defense public sector entities such as Bharat Electronics and Bharat Dynamics.
Te C295 is used for the tactical transport of up to 71 soldiers or 50 paratroopers and for logistical operations to locations inaccessible to current heavier aircraft. It can drop paratroopers and loads from the air and can also be used for accident or medical evacuation (medevac) with simple throws or mobile intensive care units (ICU) with life support equipment.
The aircraft can carry out special missions as well as civil protection and sea patrol duties.
The IAF becomes the 35th C295 operator in the world, with the program comprising 278 aircraft, 200 of which are already in service.