In what is being hailed as a significant boost to the domestic aerospace sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday lay the cornerstone of a manufacturing facility in Gujarat’s Vadodara for production of C-295 transport aircraft for the IAF by a consortium of European defence major Airbus and Indian conglomerate Tata.
Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar made the news at a press conference and stated the facility will handle both additional orders from the Indian Air Force and the export of the aircraft.
In September of last year, India and Airbus Defence and Space agreed to a contract for over Rs 21,000 crore for the purchase of 56 C-295 aircraft to replace the IAF’s outdated Avro-748 aircraft.
In accordance with the contract, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in “fly-away” condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain, within four years.
Tata Advanced Systems (TASL), an industrial partner of the two corporations, will build and assemble the other 40 aircraft.
It is the first initiative of its sort in which an Indian commercial enterprise will produce a military aircraft. The project would cost a total of Rs 21,935 crore.
The plane can also be utilised for civil reasons. According to Kumar, “96% of the work that Airbus undertakes at its facilities in Spain will be done in India,” although he said that the aircraft’s engine will not be made in India.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel will all be present at the Vadodara foundation-laying ceremony.
IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal Sandeep Singh proposed that the plane could fly from unprepared runways as well as Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs).
He claimed that the plane could accommodate 70 people or perhaps 40–45 paratroopers.
“The C-295 aircraft will be produced for the first time outside of Europe. For the indigenous aerospace industry, this is extremely important, according to Kumar.
The fabrication of nearly 13,400 detail parts, 4,600 subassemblies, and all seven key component assemblies would be done in India, according to the defence ministry.
Airbus Defence and Space will supply a number of equipment, including engines, landing gear, and avionics, while the TATA Consortium will integrate them into the aircraft.
The TATA Consortium will test the aircraft as an integrated system. At the TATA Consortium facility, the plane will undergo flight testing before being transported through a delivery centre.