NEW DELHI: In a major decision, the Cabinet Committee on Security on Wednesday approved the procurement of 56 twin-turboprop C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force to replace its ageing Avro fleet.
Sixteen aircraft will be procured from the Airbus Defence and Space in a flyaway condition while 40 will be manufactured in India by the aerospace major as part of a consortium with Tata, according to the defence ministry.
"Today, Cabinet Committee on Security approved the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from M/s Airbus Defence and Space SA, Spain for the Indian Air Force," the defence ministry said in a statement.
The C-295MW aircraft is a transport plane of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of IAF.
"Sixteen aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of the signing of the contract and forty aircraft will be manufactured in India by TATA consortium within 10 years of the signing of the contract," the ministry said. It said the aircraft has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo.
"This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. All 56 aircraft will be installed with indigenous electronic warfare suite," the ministry said.
It said the project will give a boost to the aerospace ecosystem in India wherein several MSMEs spread over the country will be involved in the manufacturing of parts of the aircraft.
A large number of detail parts, sub-assemblies and major component assemblies of aero structure are scheduled to be manufactured in India.
"The programme will act as a catalyst in employment generation in the aerospace ecosystem of the country and is expected to generate 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3000 indirect jobs and an additional 3000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh man-hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India," the ministry said.