India Moves Ahead on Transport Aircraft: Procuring and Building the C-295W for the IAF

By India Strategic

New Delhi.  The Cabinet Committee on Security on September 8 approved the procurement of fifty six C-295MW transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain for the Indian Air Force.

The C-295MW aircraft, of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology, 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.

Sixteen aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of signing of the contract and 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India by TATA Consortium within ten years of signing of the contract.

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 indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite. 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 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 increase in exports.

A large number of detail parts, sub-assemblies and major component assemblies of aero structure are scheduled to be manufactured in India. 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 3,000 indirect jobs and an additional 3,000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh manhours of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India.

“It will involve development of specialized infrastructure in form of hangars, buildings, 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 Defence Ministry said.

Before completion of deliveries, ‘D’ Level servicing facility (MRO) for C-295MW aircraft are scheduled to be setup in India. It is expected that this facility will act as a regional MRO hub for various variants of C-295 aircraft.

In addition, the OEM will also discharge its offset obligations through direct purchase of eligible products and services from Indian Offset Partners giving further boost to the economy.

“This programme is a unique initiative of Government of India to strengthen indigenous capabilities and boost Make in India,” the Defence Ministry said.

This article was published by India Strategic on September 8, 2021.