NEW DELHI: India is working closely with Spain to strengthen its naval and air defence capabilities. In line with that India could consider buying five naval submarines from Spain. This follows an agreement India has signed with Spain for procuring 56 C295MW Airbus aircraft worth Euro 2.5 billion, to replace the Indian Air Force (IAF) AVRO fleet.
"India is considering buying submarines and several countries including Spain are taking part in the tender. Spain considers that Navantia’s (a Spanish company) offer is very competitive in terms of quality, cost, transfer of technology and indigenisation. Navantia would be in charge of providing to the Indian Navy with state-of-the-art conventional Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarines – if the Indian government consider’s the offer," said Spain’s Ambassador to India, Jose Maria Ridao told this paper.
Meanwhile, India signed an agreement with Spain for the acquisition of 56 Airbus aircraft at a cost of Euro 2.5 billion.
"This contract is representative of the great potential between our two countries. On the one hand, it shows the importance of Spain´s defence industry and, on the other, it contributes to the “Make in India” policy. In that context, the first 16 aircrafts will be produced in Seville and the other 40 will be produced by Tatas with Spanish assistance," Ambassador Ridao added.
This will be the first ‘Make in India’ aerospace programme in the private sector, involving the full development of a complete industrial ecosystem: from the manufacture to assembly, test and qualification, to delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft.
"Under the contractual agreement, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain. The subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by the Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies," said a spokesperson of Tatas.
The first 16 aircraft will be delivered over four years after the contract implementation. All the IAF C295MW aircraft will be handed over in transport configuration and equipped with an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.
With a proven capability of operating from short or unprepared airstrips, the C295 is used for tactical transport of up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers, and for logistic operations to locations that are not accessible to current heavier aircraft.
Meanwhile, in recent years, imports into Spain have tripled, compared to exports.
"In 2021, Spanish exports were €1,496.53M and imports from India were €4,200.10M, a coverage rate (which is the ration between the value of exports and imports) of 35.6%. In 2021, total exports increased by 37.1% as a sign of recovery after the pandemic," said Ambassador Ridao.
During the first five months of 2022, Spanish exports to India were €731.9 million and imports from India were €2,466.7 million, which represents a coverage rate of 29.67%.