IAF C-295 takes off from Spain
The first out of 16 x C 295 transport aircraft being manufactured for the IAF has been handed over by the Defence and Aerospace. The Head of Defence and Aerospace, Airbus, Jean-Brice Dumont gave symbolic keys of C295 aircraft ,to IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari. After receiving symbolic keys form the airbus officials, IAF chief said that it marked the occasion as a momentous day and said it is a beginning of a new era.
The transport aircraft took off from Seville airfield in Spain with Indian Air Force chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on-board on Wednesday. Group Captain PS Negi is captaining the aircraft. It will take stopovers at Malta, Egypt and Bahrain before landing at Vadodara air base in India.
The aircraft is expected to be inducted formally into the service at a ceremony in Hindan around September last week.
The Indian Defence Ministry and Airbus Defence and Space, Spain had signed a contract for procurement of 56 C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force in September 2021. The aircraft is the first of 16 C-295 that was produced in Spain and the remaining 40 will be made in an Indian facility in Gujarat’s Vadodara under a joint venture of Tata and Airbus.
C-295MW aircraft is a transport aircraft of 9 Tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said, “It is a major milestone not only for IAF but for the whole country. This is for two reasons – first, for IAF it improves our tactical airlift capabilities.
For a nation, it marks the beginning of a new era. After the first 16 aircraft roll out from this plant, the next 15 is likely to be supplied by Sep 2025.
The manufacturing of 17th aircraft onwards has already Commenced in India. It’s a big step for the Indian aviation industry where we are manufacturing the first light medium military transport aircraft in the country. This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. Till now the Dornier 228 is being manufactured by HAL.
Moreover, on the handing over of C-295 transport aircraft to India, Airbus Head of Defence and Aeorapace Jean-Brice Dumont said that Make in India and Prime Minister Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat are at the heart of his company and pointed to his team members saying they will have to learn ‘Bharat’.
The aircraft has a rear ramp door for quick loading/unloading and Para dropping of troops and cargo. It has a capacity for seating 73 troops or carrying 48 paratroopers. It can carry upto 9.2 tons of cargo but it will be an overload. Optimum normal payload for day to day operation is 7 tons.
The cruise speed is around 480 km/h, with turnaround of 1555 km carrying normal load but gets reduced to 1250 km with 9 ton load. The maximum range with 2.9 tons load is 4550 km. With maximum fuel and load of 8 tons the range will be 2145 km. Absolute ceiling height is 9000m.
The aircraft has six hardpoints ( three under each wing) with a capacity of inboard pylons 800 kg centre pylons 500 kg and outboard pylons 300 kg for carrying armaments or other pods. All 56 aircraft will be installed with an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.
Thus aircraft is the best replacement for our aging Avoros. It should also the most suitable for replacing our 9 Squadrons of our An 32 Squadrons which are already 35 years old. Therefore India should not stop at manufacturing only 40 aircrafts but go on to manufacture 108 more ie total of 148 in the country. IA F will have a total of 13 Squadrons of this aircraft
The project will give a boost to aerospace ecosystem in India in which several MSMEs spread over the country will be involved in the manufacturing of parts of the aircraft, according to a press release of the Ministry of Defence. The project is expected to augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and an expected increase in exports.
The programme will provide a major boost to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ of the Government as it offers a unique opportunity for the Indian Private Sector to enter into a technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation Industry.