Airbus Defence and Space has handed over the first of 56 C295 aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF), marking the initiation of a vital process to replace the aging Avro-748 fleet.
This milestone moment was celebrated at a delivery ceremony in Seville, Spain, attended by IAF Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari and key representatives from Airbus.
The C295’s Journey Begins
The C295, configured for transport and equipped with an indigenous electronic warfare suite, is set to depart from the Airbus production site in Seville, Spain, and make its way to Delhi, India.
The journey will be piloted by a joint IAF-Airbus crew, reinforcing the collaborative effort behind this endeavor.
Jean-Brice Dumont, Airbus’ Head of Military Air Systems, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “It was only two years ago that we signed this contract with India, the largest order in the history of the C295.”
“Today, we are enhancing the capabilities of the Indian Air Force and modernizing its transport fleet by delivering the first aircraft on schedule. This is the beginning of an exciting and long-term journey with the Indian Air Force.”
The delivery of the first 16 C295s out of the total order of 56 will take place at the San Pablo Sur site in Seville, Spain. The second aircraft is expected to be delivered in May 2024, followed by the next 14 at a rate of one per month until August 2025.
To promote self-reliance in India’s defense manufacturing sector, the remaining 40 C295 aircraft in the IAF order will be manufactured and assembled in partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL).
This collaboration will take place at a Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Vadodara, in western India.
The production of components for these aircraft has already commenced at the Main Constituent Assembly (MCA) facility in Hyderabad, southern India.
These vital components will be transported to the Vadodara FAL, which is anticipated to become operational by November 2024.
A Landmark ‘Make in India’ Achievement
The first ‘Make in India’ C295 is expected to roll out of the Vadodara FAL in September 2026, marking a historic milestone for the Indian aerospace industry. The final aircraft is projected to be delivered to the IAF by August 2031.
With an impressive track record of 283 orders from 41 operators, the C295 stands as the undisputed leader in its segment.
Its versatility is a key selling point, as it can transport up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers, conduct airdrop cargo missions, serve as a platform for medical evacuation, and operate from short and unpaved runways.
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