INDIA. Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of a transport aircraft manufacturing project for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Vadodara, Gujarat on October 30.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia, and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel will be present among others. The project is considered a major boost to “Make in India” and domestic aviation manufacturing.
The project comes as a boost for Gujarat ahead of assembly polls there. However, for the Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra, it is another blow.
On September 15, Industries minister Uday Samant said that though the state had lost the Vedanta project, it would secure the Tata-Airbus project to produce military aircraft in Nagpur.
Talking about this State Industries minister Uday Samant said, “Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis was making all-out efforts to secure the project for Nagpur, but he was not successful.”
The Cabinet Committee on Security had, on September 8, 2021, approved the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from M/s Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain.
On September 24, the Ministry of Defence signed a contract with M/s Airbus Defence and Space S.A. for the acquisition of the aircraft with associated equipment.
Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar told the media on Thursday that 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.
This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. The total cost of the project is Rs 21,935 crore. The aircraft can be used for civilian purposes as well, an official statement read.
Officer on Special Duty, Department of Defence Aramane Giridhar, Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, DG (Acquisition) Pankaj Agarwal, and other senior officials of the Ministry of Defence and IAF were present during the press meet.
The first 16 fly-away aircraft are scheduled to be received between September 2023 and August 2025 and the first Made in India aircraft is expected from September 2026 onwards.
C-295MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of 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. The aircraft will strengthen the logistic capabilities of the IAF.
The project offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into a technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation industry. It will augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and an expected increase in exports.
Also, 96% of the total man-hour work per aircraft that Airbus employs at its manufacturing facility in Spain, will be undertaken in India by the TATA Consortium.
Manufacturing of over 13,400 detail parts, 4,600 sub-assemblies, and all the seven major components’ assemblies will be undertaken in India, along with tools, jigs, and testers.
Various systems such as engines, landing gear, avionics, Electronic Warfare suite, etc. will be provided by Airbus Defence & Space and integrated into the aircraft by the TATA Consortium.
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.
All 56 aircraft will be fitted with the indigenous Electronic Warfare suite of Indian Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs) – Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Limited.
After the completion of the delivery of 56 aircraft to IAF, M/s Airbus Defence & Space will be allowed to sell the aircraft manufactured in India to civil operators and export to countries that are cleared by the Government of India.
The TATA Consortium has identified over 125 in-country MSME suppliers spread over seven states. This 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 3,000 indirect jobs, and an additional 3,000 medium-skill employment opportunities with over 42.5 lakh man hours of work within the aerospace and defense sector of India. Nearly 240 engineers will be trained at Airbus facilities in Spain.