Production of C295 aircraft in India will be game-changer: India to Spain
The production of 40 Airbus C295 medium tactical transport aircraft in India will be a “game changer” as it would facilitate the creation of a world-class aerospace ecosystem in the country that would help in manufacturing other planes in the long-run, Indian Ambassador to Spain Dinesh K Patnaik said here.
The Indian Air Force received the first C295 aircraft on Wednesday, two years after New Delhi sealed a Rs 21,935-crore deal with Airbus Defence and Space to procure the planes.
Under the deal, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville by 2025 and the subsequent 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 C295 project will be a game-changer project as it will create a world-class aerospace ecosystem in India,” Patnaik told PTI in an interview.
The first ‘Make in India’ C295 is set to come out of a production facility in Vadodara in September 2026 and the final aircraft is expected to be delivered to the IAF by August 2031.
It will be the first military aircraft to be produced in India by a private consortium.
Officials said India is looking at procuring more C295 aircraft to replace the Indian Air Force’s ageing transport fleet.
After Airbus handed over the first plane to the IAF, Patnaik said the C295 project is not only about procurement of the aircraft but it carries much more significance in terms of the creation of an aerospace eco-system in India.
“We still do not have a private aerospace eco-system in India whereas all major countries have such ecosystems. The C295 project will create an aerospace ecosystem in India and it will be the beginning of a new order,” he said.
Patnaik, who has been coordinating with various stakeholders in the timely implementation of the project, said the creation of a thriving aerospace industry will help India develop and produce various categories of aircraft in the future.
“It has much wider ramifications than just procuring a military transport aircraft,” Patnaik said.
In October last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the manufacturing facility for C295 planes in Vadodara.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is procuring the C295 aircraft to replace its fleet of ageing Avro-748 planes that entered the service over six decades back.
The global C295 programme comprises a total of around 280 orders from 39 countries, making it an unmatched aircraft in its weight and mission class, the plane maker said.
The C295 is known to be a superior aircraft used for tactical transport of up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers, and for logistic operations to locations that are not accessible to current heavier aircraft.
The aircraft can airdrop paratroops and loads, and also be used for casualty or medical evacuation.
The production of components of the aircraft has already started in the Main Constituent Assembly (MCA) facility in Hyderabad and these parts will be shipped to the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Vadodara.
Airbus Defence and Space handed over the first aircraft to the IAF 10 days ahead of the scheduled delivery.
Some of the leading suppliers of components of C295 aircraft are expected to set up production facilities in India ahead of scheduled production of the aircraft at the Vadodara facility.
After the mega deal was finalised, Airbus said the C295 programme will see the company bring its complete bouquet of world-class aircraft manufacturing and servicing to India in collaboration with its industrial partners.
“In the last several decades, we bought a lot of aircraft. But we have never created an aerospace ecosystem in India. This project will help in the creation of an aerospace ecosystem in India. This will make the future production of planes in the country much easier,” Patnaik said.
The officials said the IAF will be the world’s largest operator of the C295.