The first 'Made-in-India' C-295 transport aircraft has begun production at Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL's) facility at Hyderabad, even as Airbus prepares to deliver the first C-295 produced at its Seville factory in Spain before September end.
India, in September 2021, signed a deal with Airbus to buy 56 C-295M transport aircraft worth $2.5 billion. These 56 aircraft will replace the IAF's ageing Avro HS748 transport aircraft.
Of the 56 C-295s, first 16 will be built by Airbus Defence and Space at its facility in Seville, in southern Spain, and will be delivered within 48 months of signing the contract.
The remaining 40 aircraft will be built at the new Tata-Airbus facility at Vadodara. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of this facility at Vadodara in October 2022.
According to a report in the India Today, production of the first C-295 to be manufactured in India has begun at the Tata's factory at Hyderabad. The report also mentions that some parts will be manufactured at Tata's facility in Nagpur.
These parts will subsequently be shipped to TASL-Airbus newly inaugurated facility at Vadodara, for final assembly.
It is expected that the first Indian-made C-295 will be delivered by the end of 2026 and the remaining 39 by 2031.
Airbus head of C-295 programme in India Jorge Tamarit says that the India will be able to completely build the C-295 aircraft entirely on its own without any Airbus assistance, by the 30th airframe.
Setting up of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility of C-295's is also under discussion. This facility will not only maintain IAF's C-295s, but also South Asian and Middle-Eastern users of C-295's like UAE, the Philippines, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Indonesia.
Meanwhile, Airbus is preparing for the delivery of the first C-295 to IAF manufactured in Airbus's factory at Seville in Spain.
Just a week, ago Airbus released pictures of the C-295 undergoing flares release trials, with Bharat Electronics Limited radar warning receivers (RWR), missile approach warning systems (MAWS) and countermeasures dispensing systems installed.
Furthermore, first batch of six trainee pilots of IAF has also returned back to India after completed their training in Airbus factory from Spain.
It is expected that 15 more C-295s could be ordered by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, for maritime surveillance missions. BSF and a security agency could also order C-295, to replace its fleet of HS-748 Avro's and for technical surveillance, respectively.
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