For the first time a European aircraft like C295 MW transport aircraft for the armed forces is going to be manufactured in India at a facility in Vadodara, under a joint venture of Tata Group and European Aerospace major Airbus. Together there is a consortium which will manufacture these aircraft here in Vadodara District of Gujarat – Airbus Defence and Tata Advanced Systems (TASL), the defence arm of Tatas.
The contract is for 56 transports aircraft which will be replacing the legacy Avro-748 planes as well as AN-32 of Indian Air Force (IAF). According to an official statement issued by the Ministry of Defence earlier this week, the total cost of the project is Rs 21,935 crore.
On Sunday Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Vadodara facility where military transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force will be manufactured. Those present during the ceremony included Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, senior officials of Tata and Airbus as well as other stakeholders.
Financial Express Online had already reported that on the sidelines of the recently concluded DefExpo 2022, the regulatory approval for this project was given by the Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA).
Milestone in Aviation Industry
Earlier this week briefing the media persons about today’s foundation stone laying ceremony, the outgoing Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar had said that it will be for the first time the C-295 aircraft of Airbus will be manufactured outside of Europe. He had also told the media that as per the requirement of the IAF, the facility will manufacture additional aircraft and once the requirements are fulfilled these aircraft will be exported too.
For India it is a great moment as it has achieved a major milestone in the history of the competitive aviation industry and boosting its Make in India and Self Reliance in the defence sector.
Out of the 56 C295MW transport aircraft being procured from Airbus Defence and Space SA, the first 16 will come in `flyaway’ condition from Seville, Spain within four years and the balance 40 as has been reported earlier will be manufactured locally at the new facility in Vadodara.
Last year in September the Cabinet Committee on Security had given its approval for the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from the European company Airbus Defence and Space SA. After which a contract was signed for acquiring the aircraft along with associated equipment.
This project will give a boost to the Indian private industry and an opportunity to enter into technology intensive aviation industry. And it will help in reducing India’s dependence on imports and increase exports.
As per the contract, almost 96 percent of the total man hours per aircraft that Airbus puts in at its facility in Spain, the same hours will be undertaken at the new facility here.
All the seven Major Component Assemblies are going to be undertaken in the country; more than 13,400 Detail Parts, 4,600 sub-assemblies; tools, jigs as well as testers will all be made in India.
However several critical systems including engines, avionics, EW suite, landing gear, etc., will come from Airbus Defence and Space. And these will then be integrated here at the facility under the Tata Consortium.
These aircraft are going to be flight tested and the delivery will be made through a delivery centre located at the TATA Consortium facility.
Financial Express Online has reported earlier that all the 56 C295 MW is going to be fitted with indigenous Electronic Warfare suite s. These will be made by DPSUs including Bharat Electronics and Bharat Dynamics.
According to the MoD, on completion of the delivery to the IAF, , M/s Airbus Defence & Space will be allowed to sell the aircraft which have been manufactured in India to civil operators as well export to countries approved by India.