The Indian Air Force (IAF) today (25 September) formally inducted its first C-295 tactical transport aircraft at a ceremony held at Hindon airbase, Ghaziabad.
Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, and Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari, attended the event, along with other high-ranking IAF officials and representatives from Airbus — the aircraft manufacturer.
The induction of the C-295 will significantly enhance the IAF's tactical airlift fleet as it replaces the ageing HS-748 Avro in its inventory.
Here is an overview of the capabilities that the C-295 brings to the IAF's tactical airlift fleet:
The aircraft boasts the ability to airlift a payload of over six tonnes using five cargo pallets. It can also accommodate 71 troops or 50 paratroopers.
The C-295 tactical aircraft exhibits remarkable short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities. It can take-off from short and un-prepared runways, and deliver important cargo on airstrips inaccessible for heavier transport aircrafts like Boeing C-17 Globemaster-III or Ilyushin IL-76.
These STOL capabilities enable the IAF to deliver crucial supplies to troops stationed in remote areas near the India-China border, including at advanced landing grounds such as Daulat Beg Oldie in the Depsang Plains.
The Airbus-designed tactical transporter comes equipped with indigenously-designed and developed electronic warfare systems from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
The commencement of C-295 production at the Tata Advanced Systems Limited facility in Hyderabad (in July) also marks the beginning of a private made-in-India aircraft manufacturing ecosystem in the country.
The C-295 aircraft exhibits exceptional low-level flying characteristics for tactical missions, capable of flying as low as 110 knots.
Its rear ramp door facilitates rapid para-dropping of paratroopers and essential cargo at designated locations.
Powered by two Canadian Pratt and Whitney PW127G turboprop engines, the aircraft also serves as an air ambulance, swiftly airlifting injured troops to the nearest hospitals, equipped with 24 medical stretchers and staffed by seven medical attendants.
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