SEVILLE (Spain): Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari on Wednesday received the first C-295 transport aircraft made for India by global aircraft manufacturer Airbus at a facility in Seville in Spain.
Airbus officials handed over the keys of the aircraft to the Indian Air Force chief Chaudhari. After receiving the delivery of the first C-295 transport aircraft, the IAF chief said that it is a major milestone for the whole country and that it is a stepping stone for Atmanirbhar Bharat.
“It is a major milestone not only for the IAF, but for the whole country. This is for two reasons — first, for IAF it improves our tactical airlift capabilities by leaps and bounds. For a nation, it marks the beginning of a new era”, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari said.
For Atmanirbhar Bharat, he said, “After the first 16 aircraft roll out from this plant, the 17th aircraft onwards will be made in India. It’s a big step for the Indian aviation industry where we will be manufacturing the first military transport aircraft in the country…”
The aircraft is the first of 16 C-295 that will be produced in Spain and the remaining 40 will be made in an Indian facility in Gujarat’s Vadodara under a joint venture of Tata and Airbus. The aircraft is expected to be inducted formally into the service at a ceremony in Hindan around September last week.
The Indian Air Force chief was personally involved in the contract at important stages as Deputy Chief of Air Staff where he was leading the contract negotiations.
Indian Defence Ministry and Airbus Defence and Space, Spain, signed a contract for procurement of 56 C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force in September 2021. The C-295 MW aircraft is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
The aircraft has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and paradropping 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 10 years of the 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 an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite. The project will give a boost to aerospace ecosystem in India in which several MSMEs spread over the country will be involved in the manufacturing of parts of the aircraft, according to a press release of the Ministry of Defence.
The programme will provide a major boost to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ of the government as it offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into a technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation Industry. The project is expected to augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and an expected increase in exports. (ANI)