India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the signing of a contract with aerospace company Airbus to purchase 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Airbus calls the deal the first “Make in India” aerospace program 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.”
The deal will involve two deliveries of the C-295MW. The first will be for 16 units, in “fly-away” condition from Seville, Spain. Tata Advanced Systems in India will assemble the next batch of 40 units. Initial delivery is expected by 2025.
CEO of Airbus Defence and Space Michael Schoellhorn expressed his belief that the contract will further develop India’s aerospace ecosystem and create many jobs over the coming decade.
“The C-295 has proven again as the segment leader, and with the addition of India as a new operator, the type will enlarge its footprint even more, not only on the operational aspects but on its own industrial and technological development.”
India’s MoD echoes this sentiment, as they believe that this project will be “a significant step towards modernization of the transport fleet of the IAF.” The C-295MW will replace the IAF’s aging Avro transport aircraft, which has been in service for more than half a century.
The C-295MW is designed for tactical transport and can carry up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers. It also functions as an equipment transport for areas that cannot be accessed by bigger and heavier aircraft.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, C-295s were commonly used for medical evacuations, emergencies, and medical logistics.
The deal with India marked the 35th country for the aircraft, with more than 200 in service worldwide.