Tata and Airbus have submitted a joint bid to replace Indian Air Force (IAF)'s ageing fleet of 56 Avro aircraft with Airbus' C295 transport planes.
If the combine wins the bid, European aviation giant Airbus would supply the first 16 planes while the remaining 40 would be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems (TAS) in India.
The deal will include undertaking structural assembly, final aircraft assembly, systems integration and testing and management of the indigenous supply chain.
The tie up follows a detailed industrial assessment and stringent evaluation of the Indian private aerospace sector by Airbus Defence and Space (ADS) which concluded with the selection of TAS as the Indian Production Agency (IPA) exclusive partner for this prestigious programme, according to a statement released by Airbus.
The Avro aircraft were first inducted by IAF in the 1960s.
ADS Executive Vice President (Military Aircraft), Domingo Urena Raso, said, "We firmly believe that, in the C295, we have clearly the best aircraft to replace the IAF Avro fleet and, in TAS, we have secured the cream of the Indian private aerospace sector as our partner for this project".
Terming the C295 a "superbly reliable and tough aircraft with outstanding economics which is proven in the most difficult operating conditions all over the world", he said it has already been favoured by 19 countries, many of which have placed repeat orders.
"And just this year it has dominated the market with orders for no fewer than 20 aircraft from five countries," he said.
S Ramadorai, the TAS Chairman, said they were extremely pleased to announce the partnership with ADS for the Avro replacement programme.
"It is a landmark for the development of aircraft manufacturing capability in India now that TAS is poised to take this step towards building entire aircraft in India.
"The selection of TAS by Airbus demonstrates the confidence that has been built in our ability to undertake this complex programme," he said.