European aircraft manufacturer Airbus, will deliver the first of the 56 C-295 transport aircraft ordered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2021, in September.
As per the contract, Airbus will deliver first 16 aircraft to IAF manufactured in its existing production facility in Seville, Spain. The rest 40 will be manufactured in India, in collaboration with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL).
Last week, the process of assembly for the first Made-in-India C-295 started in Hyderabad, with the unboxing of the first parts shipped from the Seville Airbus facility.
This C-295 is expected to be delivered in September 2026, with the remaining 39 to be delivered by August 2031. These 40 aircraft will be manufactured at the recently inaugurated Tata-Airbus facility in Vadodara.
The deal, worth $2.5 billion, that was signed with Airbus and government of India in September 2021, envisaged production of 40 C-295s in India with a significant transfer of technology component.
These 56 aircrafts will replace the ageing HS748 Avro in the Indian Air Force inventory.
Airbus head of C-295 programme in India, Jorge Tamarit states that India will be able to completely manufacture C-295 without any help from the Airbus facility in Spain by the 30th airframe.
As part of the programme to manufacture these in India, the Indian Air Force, yesterday (24 July) designated the Prayagraj-based 24 Equipment Depot as a central warehouse for housing C-295 spare parts and components.
The TASL facility in Hyderabad, which will initially assemble sub-systems manufactured from Airbus's manufacturing facility in Spain, will gradually start to manufacture them in India, serving as the primary sub-system manufacturing plant.
Another TASL plant in Nagpur will also manufacture some sub-systems.
Finally all these parts, components and sub-systems manufactured in the TASL plants in Hyderabad and Nagpur will be shipped to Vadodara, in the newly inaugurated Tata-Airbus facility, where all these parts will be assembled into an aircraft.
The training for the pilots will be conducted at an Airbase in Agra. The plant was inaugurated in March this year.
These component manufacturing plant in Hyderabad and Nagpur, final assembly plant in Vadodara, spares parts hub at Prayagraj and pilot training base at Agra points to a creation of an entire aircraft production eco-system in India.
There are reports, that apart from the initially requested 56 C-295s, the Indian Navy and Coast Guard are in talks with Airbus to acquire atleast 15 more C-295s, as well, along with the Border Security Force also wanting to buy them, to replace their HS-748 Avro.
Furthermore, IAF has also released a 'Request for Information' for buying 18 to 30 tonne capable medium transport aircraft, for which Airbus has offered its A-400M airlifter.
Airbus representatives state that they will be willing to make A-400Ms in India if they win a contract and sufficient numbers are ordered.
These C-295s, along with the likely production of A-400M airlifters in India — if Airbus wins this order — will help create an eco-system of aircraft manufacturing in India, operated by private companies.
Until now, the manufacturing of aircraft has been the sole responsibility of state-owned companies like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited, and Bharat Electronics Limited.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.