India has formalised the acquisition of 56 Airbus C295 aircraft to replace the Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) legacy fleet of HAL/BAe 748M Subroto aircraft, with the finalisation of the deal announced on September 24 by Airbus Defence and Space.
The deal is the first ‘Make in India’ aerospace programme in the private sector, involving the full development of a complete industrial ecosystem: from the manufacture to assembly, test and qualification, to delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft.
Under the contractual agreement, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain, over a four-year period after contract implementation. The subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by the Tata Advanced Systems in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.
All IAF C295s will be handed over in transport configuration and equipped with an indigenous electronic warfare suite. The type has been referred to locally as the C295MW.
Capable of operating from short or unprepared airstrips, the C295 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.
The aircraft can airdrop paratroopers and loads, used for casualty or medical evacuation, and also perform special missions such as disaster response and maritime patrol duties.