New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With an aim to modernise the Indian Air Force (IAF), Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday approved the procurement of 56 C-295 transport aircraft from Spain that will replace the ageing Avro-748 planes. Out of these 56 aircraft, the Defence Ministry has said that 40 will be manufactured in India by the TATA Consortium within ten years of the signing of the contract while the rest would be purchased in flyaway condition from Spain.

The Defence Ministry has said that this will be the first time when a military aircraft would be manufactured in India by a private firm while adding that all aircraft would be installed with indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite. It also said that this project will give a boost to the aerospace ecosystem in India.

"The programme will provide a major boost to `Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan' of the government as it offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation Industry. The project will augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and expected increase in exports," the Defence Ministry release said, as reported by news agency ANI.

"The programme will act as a catalyst in employment generation in the aerospace ecosystem of the country and is expected to generate 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3,000 indirect jobs and an additional 3,000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh man-hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India," it added.

C-295MW Design and features:

C-295MW is a 5-10 tonne capacity medium tactical transport aircraft that is designed for Spain's CASA that can carry tactical and logistical operations and maritime patrol. The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW127 engines. In 2012, winglets device were added to it.

How C-295MW will boost India's defence sector?

The Defence Ministry has said that a large number of detail parts, sub-assemblies and major component assemblies of aerostructure will be manufactured in India. It said that during the manufacturing process, suppliers of TATA Consortium will gain and maintain globally recognized National Aerospace and Defence Contractors Accreditation Program (NADCAP) accreditation.

Before completion of deliveries, the 'D' Level servicing facility (MRO) for C-295MW aircraft are scheduled to be set up in India. It is expected that this facility will act as a regional MRO hub for various variants of C-295 aircraft.

"In addition, the OEM will also discharge its offset obligations through direct purchase of eligible products and services from Indian offset partners giving a further boost to the economy. This programme is a unique initiative of the Government of India to strengthen indigenous capabilities and boost 'Make in India'," the Defence Ministry release said.

Why C-295MW is replacing Avro-748?

The Avro-748 or Hawker Siddeley HS 748 is a medium-sized turboprop aircraft manufactured by Avro. The aircraft has been in service since the 1960s, but the Indian Air Force now wants to replace it due to high maintenance costs.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma