C295 Aircraft Deal With Airbus to Meet IAF Requirements
Dated : 11 Jan 2021 (IST)
Indian Air Force needs to urgently replace its vintage 56x Avro HS 748 transport aircraft and there after 9x Squadrons of its work horse the AN32 aircrafts that is total of 164 aircrafts. Though taking various other factors into account, ideally IAF should have 15 Squadrons of these aircrafts ie 180 aircrafts.
The long pending lucrative deal for the twin turboprop transport aircraft will bring much-needed relief not only for European aerospace giant Airbus, but also for the Indian Air Force transport fleet and the domestic defence industry. The first 16 aircrafts will be built by Airbus Defence & Space at its facility in Seville in the southern part of Spain.
The remaining 40 aircraft will be built in India under a joint venture with the Tata Group, which has partnered with Airbus for this
The C295 is a tactical transport aircraft capable of lifting 6 tonnes — it can carry five cargo pallets or 71 troops or 50 paratroopers.
The aircraft can land on and take off from short, unprepared airstrips not accessible to heavier transport aircraft, a feature which makes it useful for operations from Advanced Landing Grounds along India’s China frontier.
The C295 is also capable of operating “from short (no longer than 670 m/2,200 ft), soft and rough (CBR 2) unprepared airstrips.
The Defence Ministry will sign a $2.5-billion deal with Airbus in the next few months for the purchase of 56 C-295 transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
The C295 deal is first of its kind which envisages participation of private companies and would prove to be a boost for our defence industry,” the Ministry of Defence said in its year-end review for 2020.
The number of C295s to be produced in India should go up in the future as the Indian Cost Guard, which plans to use it as a multi-mission maritime aircraft, has projected a requirement of six. While the Coast Guard’s requirement could go up a total of 19 in the near future. Also in case the aircraft is suitable for operations from Leh, Thoise and DBO then 108 more numbers will be added to replace the fleet of An-32 transport aircraft. Later 12 more may be added to bring the grand total to 195.
In fact, Dirk Hoke, the Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence & Space, recently told aviation news website FlightGlobal that the requirement for the C295 in India could eventually grow to “at least 150 and beyond”.
Replacing the An-32s with C295 will make sense because the IAF will already have the aircraft in the fleet. Induction of the aircraft to replace another type in its aircraft mix will make logistics of spares easier — IAF faces daunting logistics challenges due to the staggering diversity in its fleet.
The replacement of IAF’s An-32s with C295s will also make economic sense as the economics of scale will kick in, not only for the production of the aircraft in India but also for future upgrades of the aircraft.
“The C-295 aircraft would also be the natural replacement for AN-32s which too would be getting phased out soon,” Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (retd) has been quoted by the Hindustan Times as saying.