‘Great step forward’: Ratan Tata on Centre buying 56 C-295 military aircraft
Tata Trusts chairperson Ratan Tata said on Friday the Centre’s contract with Airbus Defence to procure C-295 medium transport military aircraft is a “great step forward in opening up of aviation and avionics projects” in India.
The Centre sealed a ₹22,000 crore contract with Airbus Defence and Space of Spain to procure 56 C-295 medium transport aircraft, which will replace Avro-748 planes of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The purchase of the transport aircraft was cleared by the cabinet committee on security two weeks back. The project will be jointly executed by Airbus Defence and Space and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL). It will equip the IAF with the new transport aircraft under the Centre’s Make-in-India initiative in the aerospace sector.
“The clearance of the joint project between Airbus Defence and Tata Advanced Systems to build the C-295 is a great step forward in the opening up of aviation and avionics projects in India. It envisages total manufacturing of the aircraft in India,” Ratan Tata said in a statement on Friday.
As per the deal, 16 aircraft will be delivered in a flyaway condition within 48 months of signing the contract and the remaining 40 will be assembled in India by TASL.
The Avro replacement project was in the works for almost a decade. The defence acquisition council accorded its acceptance of necessity (AoN) to replace the Avro planes with 56 new aircraft back in 2012. The Avro-748 entered service in the early 1960s and has been long due for replacement.
“All 56 aircraft will be installed with indigenous electronic warfare suite,” the Union defence ministry said in a statement on September 8 after the procurement was cleared cabinet committee on security.
A large number of detail parts, sub-assemblies and major component assemblies of aerostructure are scheduled to be manufactured in India. According to news agency PTI, the defence ministry said that before completion of the deliveries, a servicing facility for C-295 MW aircraft is scheduled to be set up in the country.
(With inputs from Rahul Singh)