The long-pending acquisition of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF), has crossed a significant milestone with the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) according its approval for the deal.
As per Indian defence procurement rules, CCS approval is the penultimate stage in the acquisition process, following which a contract is inked with the winning bidder.
Airbus Defence and Space manufacture the C-295MW, and the Tata Consortium is the designated Indian Production Agency. Sixteen aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition by Airbus Defence and Space from its manufacturing facilities in Spain within four years of contract signature. The remaining forty aircraft are to be produced in India by the Tata Consortium within ten years of signing the contract.
This is the first time that a military aircraft destined for the Indian armed forces will be manufactured under license by the private sector. Previously all military aircraft produced in India were either manufactured under license or indigenously developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The C-295MW can fly a distance of 2,000 nm with a six-tonne payload and will replace the IAF's HS748 transport aircraft built under HAL's license. The C-295MW can carry 71 troops or 50 paratroopers and five pallets.