Gujarat has bagged a defence project to manufacture C-295MW aircraft for Indian Air Force (IAF) along with Tata Group and Airbus in a bid to reduce the country’s dependence on aircraft imports. The development comes a month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state was chosen by Vedanta and Taiwan-based Foxconn for establishing a semiconductor manufacturing plant worth ₹1.54 lakh crore.
Notably, this is the first time that military aircraft will be manufactured by a private company. The move is viewed in line with the country’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ or ‘Make in India’ push. PM Modi will inaugurate the manufacturing plant on October 30.
“As part of the contract, 16 aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition and 40 will be manufactured in India by the Indian Aircraft Contractor, TATA Consortium of Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) led by TASL,” says defence secretary Ajay Kumar.
The first 16 fly-away aircraft are scheduled to be received between September 2023 and August 2025. The first Made in India aircraft is expected in September 2026. The manufacturing and assembling of all the major components and parts of the aircraft will be undertaken in India.
“Manufacturing of over 13,400 detail parts, 4,600 sub-assemblies and all the seven major component Assemblies will be undertaken in India, along with tools, jigs and testers. Various systems such as engines, landing gear, avionics, EW suite etc. will be provided by Airbus Defence & Space and integrated on the aircraft by the TATA Consortium,” the ministry of defence says in a statement.
“The aircraft will be tested as an integrated system by the TATA Consortium. The aircraft will be flight tested and delivered through a Delivery Centre at the TATA Consortium facility,” it adds.
The C-295MW has a capacity of 5 tonne to 10 tonne and will replace the ageing Avro aircraft in order to strengthen the logistic capabilities of the Indian Air Force (IAF). It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo. Short take-off/land from semi-prepared surfaces is another of its features.
Meanwhile, the project is also touted to create 600 highly skilled jobs directly, more than 3,000 indirect jobs and an additional 3,000 medium-skill employment opportunities.