To provide a major fillip to the transport fleet of the Indian Air Force, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared procurement of 56 transport aircraft from Airbus. The deal to buy the C-295MW transport aircraft is expected to cost upwards of Rs 20,000 crore.
- 16 aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of signing of the contract.
- The remaining 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India by the TATA Consortium within 10 years of signing the contract.
- This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India under technology transfer by a private company.
- Cost: It is expected to cost close to $3bn.
- Incidentally, this is the first defence contract the European firm Airbus has signed with India since the 1960s despite being in the country for over five decades.
What is C-295MW?
- C-295MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology.
- All aircraft will be installed with the indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.
- It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo.
- 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.
- Its dimensions are smaller than the IAF’s fleet of C-130Js, C-17s and IL-76s, C-295s.