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IAF to procure indigenous transport aircraft under 'Make in India'

  • Published
    4th Feb, 2023

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has initiated the process of acquiring a Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA), which is to be manufactured in the country under the 'Make in India' initiative.

  • In September last year, the Defence Ministry signed a 21.935 Crore contract with Airbus and Space S.A., Spain for procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft to replace the Avro aircraft in service with the IAF which it is executing in partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL).
  • An Airbus-TASL joint venture will assemble the C-295s at a manufacturing facility being set up in Vadodara, Gujarat.

About the initiative:

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) has initiated the process to find a replacement for the AN-32 transport aircraft in service.
  • It has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the procurement of a Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) with a carrying capacity of 18 to 30 tonnes.

Request for Information (RFI):

An RFI (request for information) is a formal process for gathering information from potential suppliers of a good or service. RFIs are intended to be written by customers and sent to potential suppliers.

  • Several projects for the domestic manufacturing of various defence platforms such as missiles, field guns, tanks, aircraft carriers, drones, fighter planes, tanks, and helicopters are currently underway to meet the defence modernisation needs of the Indian armed forces.
  • The IAF operates around 100 AN-32s which are the workhorse of the force and they have all been upgraded recently under a $400-million deal signed with Ukraine in 2009.
  • Some of them were upgraded in Ukraine a decade ago to improve avionics and increase engine lifespan, while several others are being upgraded at an IAF repair facility in Kanpur.

Significance under Make in India:

  • The RFI has asked aircraft manufacturers to indicate the scope of work related to MTA, which would be undertaken under Make in India under the appropriate category with an estimate of indigenous content mandatorily.
  • The joint venture will enhance, methods to enhance indigenisation and to set up a dedicated manufacturing line, including design, integration and manufacturing processes in India.
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