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Airbus Delivers Maiden C295 to Indian Air Force

Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari received the inaugural C295 transport aircraft, the first of a fleet of 56, at Airbus’ production facility in Seville, Spain. The C295, configured for transport and equipped with an indigenous electronic warfare suite, is set to depart for Delhi on September 15th.

The C295 is a versatile tactical transport aircraft designed for an array of missions, from troop and cargo transport to maritime patrol, surveillance, reconnaissance, and signals intelligence. It boasts the capacity to carry up to nine tonnes of payload or 71 troops while cruising at a maximum speed of 260 knots. Additionally, it can be adapted for air-to-air refueling and boasts short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities on various terrains.

This battle-tested aircraft has served in diverse environments, from the Brazilian jungle and Colombian mountains to the deserts of Egypt and Algeria, as well as the extreme cold of Poland, Finland, and Kazakhstan. With over 200 aircraft in operation, the C295 has proven its reliability and efficiency as a workhorse.

The procurement of these C295s is a significant boost to India’s “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” (self-reliant India initiative). In September 2021, the Indian defense ministry inked a Rs 21,935-crore deal with Airbus for these planes to replace the aging Avro-748 fleet. Airbus will deliver the initial 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition from Seville by 2025, with the remaining 40 being manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India as part of an industrial collaboration.

The assembly of components for these aircraft has already commenced in Hyderabad, with plans to operationalize the Vadodara Final Assembly Line (FAL) by November 2024. In October 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Vadodara manufacturing facility, with the first ‘Make in India’ C295 set to roll out in September 2026. This marks a historic milestone as the first military transport aircraft to be fully manufactured in India. The final aircraft is anticipated to be delivered to the Indian Air Force by August 2031.


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