INDIA. Mumbai: Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a Rs 22,000 crore contract with M/s Airbus Defence and Space, S. A. Spain for the acquisition of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force, on September 24, Friday.
Under the pact, M/s Airbus will discharge its offset obligations through the direct purchase of eligible products and services from Indian Offset Partners. The contract was signed following the approval accorded by the Cabinet Committee on Security on September 8.
Out of 56 aircraft, 16 aircraft are to be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of the signing of the contract, and 40 will be manufactured in India by TATA Consortium (Tata Advanced Systems Limited) (TASL) within ten years of the signing of the contract.
These aircrafts will replace the aging Avro aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF). It is a transport aircraft of five to 10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology. It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo. It is capable of operating from semi-prepared strips. The aircraft is expected to give a major boost to the tactical airlift capability of IAF, especially in the Northern and North-Eastern sector and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
A boost to Self-Reliant India campaign
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 the indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite. “The project will give a boost to the aerospace ecosystem in India wherein several
Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) spread over the country will be involved in manufacturing parts of the aircraft,” the Defence Ministry said adding that this will provide a major boost to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (Self-Reliant India Campaign) as it offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into a technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation industry.
After completion of the delivery, the subsequent aircraft manufactured in India can be exported to countries that are cleared by the Government of India. The program will also involve the development of specialized infrastructure in the form of hangars, buildings, aprons, and taxiways. The project will also augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and an expected increase in exports. A large number of detail parts, sub-assemblies, and major component assemblies of aerostructure are scheduled to be manufactured in India.
The program 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 3,000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh man-hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India.
It is expected that all the suppliers of TATA Consortium, who will be involved in special processes will gain and maintain globally recognized National Aerospace and Defence Contractors Accreditation Program (NADCAP) accreditation. Before completion of deliveries, the ‘D’ Level servicing facility (MRO) for C-295MW aircraft is scheduled to be set up in India. It is expected that this facility will act as a regional MRO hub for various variants of C-295 aircraft,” the ministry said.
In addition, the original equipment manufacturer will also discharge its offset obligations through direct purchase of eligible products and services from the Indian Offset Partners giving a further boost to the economy.
Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space said, “This contract will support the further development of India’s aerospace ecosystem, bringing investment and 15,000 skilled direct jobs and 10,000 indirect positions over the coming 10 years.”
Reacting to the development, Ratan N Tata said, “The clearance of the joint project between Airbus Defence and Tata advanced systems to build the C-295 is a great step forward in the opening up of aviation and avionics projects in India. The C-295 is a multi-role aircraft with several reconfigurations to meet mission requirements. It envisages the total manufacturing of aircraft in India. It will create a domestic supply chain capability to international standards, which has never been undertaken before. The Tata group congratulates Airbus and the Indian defense ministry for this bold step in fully building this state-of-the-art multi-role aircraft in India in support of the ‘Make in India’ thrust to bolster the country’s equity framework, Ratan N Tata twitted.