Transport aircraft for Indian Air Force to be made in India by Airbus Defence and Tata consortium
New Delhi, October 27, 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of a transport aircraft manufacturing project for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Vadodara in Gujarat on October 30.
The project is expected to provide a major boost to the "Make in India" programme and domestic aviation manufacturing, a press release from the Ministry of Defence said here today.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia and Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel are among those who will attend the function.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had, on September 8, 2021, approved the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain. On September 24, 2021, the Ministry of Defence signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space S.A. for acquisition of the aircraft with associated equipment.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on October 27, 2022, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar had said that, as part of the contract, 16 aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition and 40 will be manufactured in India by the Indian aircraft contractor, Tata consortium of Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) led by TASL.
This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. The total cost of the project is Rs 21,935 crore. The aircraft can be used for civilian purposes as well, the release said.
The first 16 fly-away aircraft are scheduled to be received between September 2023 and August 2025. The first Made in India aircraft is expected from September 2026.
The C-295MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of IAF. It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo. Short take-off/landing from semi-prepared surfaces is another of its features.
The aircraft will strengthen the logistic capabilities of the IAF, the release said.
"The project offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into technology intensive and highly competitive aviation industry. It will augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and expected increase in exports," the Ministry said.
Also, 96% of the total man hour work per aircraft that Airbus employs at its manufacturing facility at Spain will be undertaken in India by the Tata consortium.
"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, EW suite etc. will be provided by Airbus Defence & Space and integrated on the aircraft by the Tata Consortium. The aircraft will be tested as an integrated system by the Tata Consortium. The aircraft will be flight tested and delivered through a Delivery Centre at the Tata Consortium facility," the release said.
All 56 aircraft will be fitted with indigenous Electronic Warfare suite of Indian DPSUs – Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Limited. After completion of delivery of 56 aircraft to IAF, Airbus Defence & Space will be allowed to sell the aircraft manufactured in India to civil operators and export to countries which are cleared by the Government of India.
The Tata consortium has identified more than 125 in-country MSME suppliers spread over seven states. This 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 3,000 indirect jobs and an additional 3,000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh man hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India. Nearly 240 engineers will be trained at Airbus facility in Spain.