Tata to manufacture Airbus transport aircraft for IAF in Gujarat

NEW DELHI: In a big boost to the Make in India programme, the Tata-Airbus consortium said on Thursday that it would manufacture the C-295MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force in Vadodara, Gujarat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the project on Sunday. The first Made in India C-295MW is expected to fly out in September 2026.

Last year, the defence ministry had signed a deal worth around Rs 22,000 crore with Airbus Defence and Space, Spain, to procure 56 C-295MW aircraft to replace the ageing Avro transport planes of the IAF.

As per the agreement 16 aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain between September 20023 and August 2025, and 40 will be manufactured in India by the Tata-Airbus consortium.

This is the first project of its kind under which military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company, breaking the monopoly of state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

The C-295MW has five to 10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology. It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and paradropping of troops and cargo.

The aircraft is capable of short take-off and land from semi-prepared strips. It will give a major boost to tactical airlift capability of IAF, especially in the northern and northeastern sectors and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

All 56 aircraft will be fitted with indigenous electronic warfare suite of Indian defence PSUs – Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Limited.

It will augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and expected increase in exports. The Tata consortium has identified more than 125 in-country MSME suppliers spread over seven states. Some 240 engineers will be trained at Airbus facility in Spain.

The manufacturing of over 13,400 detail parts, 4,600 sub-assemblies and all the seven major component assemblies will be undertaken in India, along with tools, jigs and testers. Various systems such as engines, landing gear, avionics, and EW suite among others will be provided by Airbus Defence and Space and integrated on the aircraft by the Tata Consortium.

After completion of delivery of 56 aircraft to the IAF, Airbus will be allowed to sell the aircraft manufactured in India to civil operators and export to countries which are cleared by the government.

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