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The C-295 and India’s aircraft industry

  • Published
    2nd Nov, 2022
Context

Recently, PM laid the foundation stone for the C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing facility in Vadodara to be set up by Airbus Defense and Space and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL).

About C-295 Transporter:

Capacity:

  • The C-295 MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology.
  • The aircraft, with a flight endurance of up to 11 hours, can carry out multi-role operations under all weather conditions.

Features:

  • It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo.
  • It will be installed with the indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.
  • The C-295 has very good fuel efficiency and can take off and land from short as well as unprepared runways.

Replacement:

  • It will replace the Indian Air Force’s aging fleet of Avro-748 planes.
  • The Avro-748 planes are a British-origin twin-engine turboprop, military transport, and freighter with a 6-tonne freight capacity.
  • The C-295 is also a potential replacement for the AN-32 aircraft, the workhorse of the IAF with over 100 of them in service.

Fleet:

  • Of the 56 aircraft contracted, 16 will come in fly-away condition from Spain between September 2023 and August 2025.
  • The remaining 40 will be manufactured here to be delivered between September 2026 and 2031 at the rate of eight aircraft per year.

C-295 Transport Aircraft Manufacturing Facility

  • About: The C-295 Transport Aircraft Manufacturing facility will manufacture C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
    • It is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company.
  • Collaboration: C-295 Transport Aircraft Manufacturing facility is being set up through collaboration between Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Airbus Defense and Space S.A., Spain.
  • Cost: The total cost of the C-295 aircraft manufacturing facility project is Rs 21,935 crore. The aircraft can be used for civilian purposes as well.

Importance of C-295 Transport Aircraft Manufacturing Facility:

  • Promote Self-Reliance: The project offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into the technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation industry.
  • Employment Generation: The TATA Consortium has identified more than 125 in-country MSME suppliers spread over seven states. This will act as a catalyst for employment generation in the aerospace ecosystem of the country.
    • This is the first time a private sector company would be manufacturing a full aircraft in the country. This is a huge step forward for India in the global aircraft manufacturing domain.

Impact on domestic aircraft manufacturing ecosystem:

  • Expanding Footprints: Indian companies, both public and private, have steadily expanded their presence in the global supply chains of major defense and aerospace manufacturers.
  • Involvement of MSMEs: Boeing’s sourcing from India stands at $1 billion annually, and 60% of its manufacturing requirement is sourced through a growing network of 300+ supplier partners of which over 25% are micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME).
  • Joint Ventures: Both Lockheed Martin (manufacturing aerospace components for commercial helicopters and aircraft) and Boeing (manufacturing aero-structures for its AH-64 Apache helicopter) has joint ventures with TATAs.
  • Boost to domestic defense manufacturing sector: The C-295 project will lead to the development of a strong private industrial aerospace ecosystem not only in and around Vadodara but across the country.
  • Employment Generation: The C-295 project is expected to create more than 15,000 skilled direct and indirect jobs across the aerospace ecosystem.
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