The Indian Air Force (IAF)'s first C-295 transport aircraft, touched down at Vadodara air base in Gujarat, yesterday (20 September), marking its arrival in India.
Airbus Defence and Space officially handed over the aircraft to the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari at Airbus' Seville factory in Spain, a week ago (on 13 September).
The C-295, part of a Rs 21,935 crore Make in India initiative aimed at upgrading the IAF's transport fleet, was flown to Vadodara by a joint IAF-Airbus crew.
This aircraft is set to be a highlight of the upcoming Air Force Day parade, with the IAF establishing its first squadron of tactical airlifters in Vadodara.
The C-295s will significantly enhance the air force's logistical capabilities, catering to mission needs in forward regions, including those near the contested Chinese border. They will replace the aging Avro HS-748 transport aircraft, which entered service in the early 1960s.
The official induction of the first aircraft into the IAF is scheduled for 25 September at Hindan air base.
This aircraft is expected to participate in this year's Air Force Day parade in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, on 8 October, on its 91st anniversary.
The first squadron will be stationed in Vadodara, near the C-295 production facility. Each C-295 squadron will comprise 10 to 12 aircraft.
Airbus, in collaboration with Tata Advanced Systems Limited, is executing the project. Out of the 56 aircraft contracted with Airbus by the Defence Ministry, 16 will be delivered in a flyaway condition, while the remaining units will be assembled in India at Tata's Vadodara facility.
The second C-295 is currently in final assembly in Seville and is expected to be delivered in May 2024. The last of the 16 flyaway aircraft will be received by the IAF by August 2025.
The "made in India" C-295 is scheduled to roll out of the Vadodara facility in September 2026, with the remaining 39 units expected to be delivered by August 2031.
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.