New Delhi, September 20
The first C-295 medium tactical transport aircraft landed in Vadodara on Wednesday, days after it was handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the southern Spanish city of Seville.
The aircraft would be formally inducted into the IAF at a ceremony in Hindon near Delhi on September 25.
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on September 13 received the first of the 56 C295 transport aircraft two years after India sealed a Rs 21,935-crore deal with Airbus Defence and Space to procure the jets to replace its ageing Avro--748 fleet.
“The IAF’s first C-295 MW aircraft landed in Vadodara today. The aircraft would be handed over to the #IAF in a formal ceremony on 25 Sep 23 at AF Stn Hindon by the Honourable Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh,” the IAF tweeted.
Under the deal, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville by 2025 and the subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.
The production of components of these aircraft has already started in the Main Constituent Assembly (MCA) facility in Hyderabad.
These parts will be shipped to the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Vadodara which is expected to be operational by November 2024.
In October last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the manufacturing facility for 295 planes in Vadodara. It will be the first military aircraft to be manufactured in India by a private consortium.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is procuring the C295 aircraft to replace its fleet of ageing Avro-748 planes that entered the service over six decades back.
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.
The aircraft can airdrop paratroops and loads, and also be used for casualty or medical evacuation.
The aircraft is capable of performing special missions as well as disaster response and maritime patrol duties.
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