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Air Force Chief to Visit Spain to Receive First C-295 Transport Aircraft

The Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal (ACM) VR Chaudhari will depart for Spain on Monday to receive the first C-295 transport aircraft built by Airbus in Spain’s Seville, IAF officials informed India Today on Sunday. The C-295 transport aircraft will then land in India a few weeks later where it will be formally inducted into the IAF by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. In 2021, India inked a deal with Airbus for the delivery of 56 C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force.

The C-295 is a transport aircraft with a 5-10 tonnes capacity. It is enabled with contemporary technologies and will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of the IAF. The aircraft has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo. The C-295, a twin-turboprop aircraft, is capable of traversing across long distances with fully geared troops and can also land on smaller airstrips. According to the IAF, all 56 aircraft will be installed with an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite (EWS) to enhance its capabilities in the operational areas.

According to the deal, Airbus will supply 16 aircraft in a flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of the signing of the deal, while the remaining 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India by the Tata consortium within 10 years of the signing of the contract. This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private entity.According to the IAF, the project will give a boost to the aerospace ecosystem in India, wherein several MSMEs, involved in manufacturing of parts of aircraft, will also benefit.

The programme will also boost the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ of the Union government by providing a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into a technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation industry. The project will augment domestic aviation manufacturing, resulting in reduced import dependence and an expected increase in exports.