Gujarat grabs another mega project

European aviation major Airbus and Tata Advanced Systems (TASL), the defence arm of Tatas, will manufacture the C-295 transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Gujarat’s Vadodara.

“For the first time, the C-295 aircraft will be manufactured outside of Europe,” Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for the manufacturing plant of C-295 transport aircraft in Vadodara on 30 October.

This facility will also be manufacturing additional aircraft as per requirements of the IAF and also for exports in future, Kumar has said.

In September 2021, India sealed a nearly ₹21,000 crore deal with Airbus Defence and Space to procure 56 C-295 transport aircraft to replace the ageing Avro-748 planes of the IAF under a project that entails manufacturing of military aircraft in India for the first time by a private company.

Under the agreement, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain within four years and the subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by the TASL in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two firms.

The regulatory approval for the ambitious programme was accorded by the Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA) last week.

The C295 is known to be a superior aircraft 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.

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