he union cabinet on Wednesday approved procurement of fifty six C-295MW transport aircraft from Airbus Defence for the Indian Air Force.
The C-295MW aircraft is a transport aircraft of 5-10 Tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of IAF. This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company.
The defence ministry in a statement said the programme is a “unique initiative of Government of India to strengthen indigenous capabilities and boost ‘Make in India’.”
Sixteen aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of signing of the contract, while rest of the forty aircraft will be manufactured in India by TATA Consortium within ten years of signing of the contract, a statement by defence ministry said.
All fifty six 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 defence ministry said.
The aircraft has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo.
“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,” the statement said.
A statement added that 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 3000 indirect jobs and an additional 3000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh man hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India,” the defence ministry said.
The Ministry also said that this will involve development of specialized infrastructure in form of hangars, buildings, aprons and taxiway.
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.
Before completion of deliveries, a servicing facility (Maintenance Repair and Overhaul) for the aircraft is 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 economy.