Hyderabad: With India formalising the acquisition of 56 Airbus C295 aircraft for Rs 20,000 crore to replace the Indian Air Force (IAF) legacy AVRO fleet, Airbus will be delivering 16 aircraft over 2-4 years period while Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) will be delivering 40 aircraft over the 5–10-year timeframe of the contract signature.
This is the first time India will be involved from the manufacture to assembly, test, and qualification, to delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft. And for the first time, an Indian private company will be completely manufacturing an aircraft in India. The C295 programme will put India on the global map of prominent aircraft manufacturing countries.
Under the contractual agreement, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain, over four years after the contract implementation. The subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by the TASL in India, as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.
An Airbus spokesperson told Telangana Today, “The first 16 aircraft, assembled in Seville (Spain), will be delivered between 24 and 48 months after the contract signature. The remaining 40 aircraft, to be assembled in India, will be delivered between 60 and 120 months after the contract signature.”
When asked where the aircraft will be produced in India, the spokesperson said, “It is going to be a joint decision with the Tatas, with the active guidance of the Government of India. It will be our proud honour to set up what we believe will be a world-class integrated manufacturing centre, involving the full development of a complete industrial ecosystem.”
The Indian facility operated by TASL will have a capacity to make 12 aircraft every year, with the same standards of Airbus final assembly line in Spain. The activity will create 15,000 skilled direct jobs and 10,000 indirect positions over the coming 10 years.
The C295 aircraft is 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. It can airdrop paratroops and loads, and also be used for casualty or medical evacuation (medevac), as demonstrated during the Covid-19 crisis, using either basic litters or mobile intensive care units (ICU) with life support equipment. The aircraft can perform special missions as well as disaster response and maritime patrol duties. The IAF became the 35th C295 operator worldwide.
TASL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, is focused on providing integrated solutions for aerospace, defence, and homeland security. It has capabilities throughout the entire aerospace and defence systems value chain from design to full assembly of aircraft and weapon systems, and has expertise in areas including missiles, radars, unmanned aerial systems, command and control systems, optronics, and homeland security. The company’s Hyderabad facility has been playing a key role in meeting the needs of global OEMs both individually and through partnerships.
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