By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 24, Sep 2021, 18:40 pm IST | UPDATED: 24, Sep 2021, 18:43 pm IST
New Delhi: In a major boost to the government’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, the Defence Ministry on Friday said that it has signed a contract with Spain’s M/s Airbus Defence and Space for acquisition of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF), adding 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India by TATA Consortium.
The ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into technology intensive and highly competitive aviation industry.
The Defence Ministry said this programme is a unique initiative of the government to strengthen the indigenous capabilities and boost ‘Make in India’.
“The program will also involve development of specialised infrastructure in the form of hangars, buildings, aprons and taxiway,” the ministry added.
The Defence Ministry said “all 56 aircraft will be installed with indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite”.
The Defence Ministry said that it has also signed an offset contract with M/s Airbus Defence and Space through which M/s Airbus will discharge its offset obligations through direct purchase of eligible products and services from the Indian offsetPartners.
These contracts were signed following the approval accorded by the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month.
The Defence Ministry said the induction of C-295MW will be a significant step towards modernisation of the transport fleet of the IAF.
“It is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro transport aircraft of IAF. The aircraft is capable of operating from semi-prepared strips and has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo,” the ministry added.
The Defence Ministry said the aircraft will give a major boost to tactical airlift capability of the IAF, especially in the northern and north-eastern sector and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Defence Ministry said all the deliveries will be completed within ten years of signing of the contract, adding the subsequent aircraft manufactured in India can be exported to nations which are cleared by the government of India after completion of the delivery.
Meanwhile, Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata congratulated the Airbus Defence, Tata Advanced Systems Limited and the Defence Ministry on the signing of this contract.
“Congratulations to Airbus Defence, Tata Advanced Systems Limited and the Indian Defence Ministry ???? @tataadvanced @indiandefence @AirbusDefence @TataCompanies,” he tweeted.
Tata said the clearance of the joint project between Airbus Defence and Tata Advanced Systems to build the aircraft is a “great step” forward in the opening up of the aviation and avionics projects in India.
“It will create a domestic supply chain capability to international standards, which has never been undertaken before. The Tata Group congratulates Airbus and the Indian Defence Ministry for this bold step in fully building this state-of-the-art multi-role aircraft in India in support of the Make-in-India thrust to bolster the country’s equity framework,” he added in a signed statement posted on Twitter.
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