India inks USD 2.7 million deal with Airbus to buy 56 military transport aircraft; big boost for Indian aerospace industry

India's Defence Ministry on Friday inked a nearly Rs 20,000-crore (USD 2.7 mn) deal with Airbus Defence and Space, Spain to procure 56 C-295 medium transport aircraft which will replace the ageing Avro-748 planes of the Indian Air Force

Sep 24, 2021
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Military Transport Aircraft

India's Defence Ministry on Friday inked a nearly Rs 20,000-crore (USD 2.7 mn) deal with Airbus Defence and Space, Spain to procure 56 C-295 medium transport aircraft which will replace the ageing Avro-748 planes of the Indian Air Force. While the first 16 of these aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of the contract being signed, the remaining 40 will be manufactured in India by a consortium led by the Tata Group over 10 years, the Defence Ministry had earlier said in a statement.
 
The ministry said that it will make it the first-of-its-kind deal in the country. All aircraft will be installed with the indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite, it stated, according to The Indian Express.

C-295MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of the IAF, the government said, adding that it has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo.

Ratan Tata,the chairman emeritus of the multinational conglomerate, congratulated the Airbus Defence, Tata Advanced Systems Limited and the Defence Ministry on the inking of the historic contract. In a signed statement posted on Twitter, Tata said the clearance of the joint project between Airbus Defence and Tata Advanced Systems to build the aircraft is a “great step” forward in the opening up of the aviation and avionics projects in India.

“It will create a domestic supply chain capability to international standards, which has never been undertaken before. The Tata Group congratulates Airbus and the Indian Defence Ministry for this bold step in fully building this state-of-the-art multi-role aircraft in India in support of the Make-in-India thrust to bolster the country’s equity framework,” he added.

The Defence Ministry called it a “unique initiative to strengthen indigenous capabilities”. The fleet will replace the Avro aircraft of the Air Force, which are British-origin twin-engine turboprop, military transport and freighter with a 6-tonne freight capacity.

The ministry had also stated that a “large number of detail parts, sub-assemblies and major component assemblies of aero structure are scheduled to be manufactured in India” and the project will “act as a catalyst in employment generation in the aerospace ecosystem of the country and is expected to generate 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3000 indirect jobs and an additional 3000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh man hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India”.