Prime Minister Modi to lay foundation stone for C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing plant in Vadodara


New Delhi, October 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was congratulated and presented with a souvenir from Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel, Chairman of Tata Sons N Chandrasekaran and Urban Executive Vice President, in Vadodara, Gujarat.

The PM is to lay the foundation stone for a C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing plant in Vadodara, Gujarat. He will also address a rally at Leprosy Ground in Vadodara, according to a Gujarat government statement.

The Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday that a consortium made up of European defense giant Airbus and the Tata group would produce a C-295 transport plane for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Vadodara.

According to Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, Vice Chief of the Air Force, the C-295 can take off and land unprepared and on short runways. It also has excellent fuel efficiency. He said when the flying planes start arriving in the second half of next year, the IAF will also establish its first C-295 squadron at Vadodara by converting one of the Avro squadrons in the area.

The C295 is a 5-10 ton capacity aircraft that is used for tactical transport of up to 71 passengers or 50 paratroopers, as well as for logistical operations to locations that are not accessible to heavier aircraft for the moment. It has been shown to operate from short or unprepared airstrips, which is a proven capability.

It is the first time that a military aircraft has been produced in India by a private company. Aircraft exports and additional IAF orders will be processed at the facility. The plane can also be used for ordinary purposes by citizens, Defense Secretary Ajay Kumar said.

The agreement stipulates that Airbus will deliver the first 16 planes in fly-away condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain, within four years. Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India will manufacture and assemble the remaining 40 aircraft under an industrial partnership.

In September last year, India struck a deal with Airbus Defense and Space for 56 C-295 jets to replace the IAF’s aging Avro-748 planes.

“This is the start of an entire ecosystem for the aviation industry. This facility will serve as a regional maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) center for all C-295s,” Defense Secretary Ajay said. Kumar during a media briefing: “The first 16 aircraft taking off are expected to be received between September 2023 and August 2025.

The first Made in India aircraft is expected from September 2026 and completed by 2031 at the rate of eight aircraft per year.

There are 56 Avro transport aircraft brought in in 1960 which are currently in IAF inventory and need urgent replacement. The Defense Acquisition Board (DAC) approved Airbus and TASL’s only bid for the C-295 aircraft in May 2015, following the issuance of the Request for Proposals (RFP) to global companies in May 2013.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) has agreed to purchase 56 C-295MW aircraft from Airbus Defense and Space, Spain, for a total of 21,935 crore in September 2021. This is the first such project to be used the transfer of technology from the private sector to produce a military aircraft in India.

From Sunday, Prime Minister Modi will embark on a three-day visit to Gujarat, where he will launch a variety of projects in various parts of the state where assembly elections are due to be announced soon.

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