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  4. IAF gets its first Airbus C-295 transport aircraft: Know its key features and other details

IAF gets its first Airbus C-295 transport aircraft: Know its key features and other details

Under the agreement, Airbus delivered the first 16 aircraft in "fly-away" condition from its final assembly line in Seville by 2025 and the subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India.

Written By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: September 25, 2023 13:19 IST
Airbus C-295
Image Source : FILE Airbus C-295 transport aircraft

The Indian Air Force (IAF) received the delivery of its first C-295 transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space at Seville in Spain on Wednesday, September 13. Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari received the transport aircraft made for India at Seville, Spain by Airbus. Earlier in 2021, the Ministry of Defence had inked a contract with Airbus for as many as 56 aircraft at a cost of Rs 21,935 crore. 

Under the agreement, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in "fly-away" condition from its final assembly line in Seville by 2025 and the subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies. Airbus said C-295 final assembly line being built in Gujarat is the first concrete, large-scale Make-in-India defence programme in the private sector. It is expected to unlock the industrial value chain of design, manufacturing, assembly, testing, delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft.

Why is C-295 being inducted into IAF?

The induction of these aircraft is anticipated to significantly boost the capabilities of the Indian Air Force. The C-295 aircraft represents the vanguard of a significant modernisation endeavour undertaken by the IAF. The Indian Air Force has ordered these aircraft with a commitment to bolster its transport fleet. The modernisation effort aims to augment self-reliance in India's defence manufacturing sector and enhance the country's strategic airlift capabilities. 

The delivery of the inaugural C-295 marks a significant milestone in Inda's quest for a robust and modernised air transport fleet. The second C-295 is slated to be delivered in May 2024, underscoring the systematic and well-coordinated approach of this comprehensive modernisation project. The final flyaway aircraft will be handed over to the IAF by August 2025. 

Key features of C-295 aircraft

  • It is a robust, reliable and highly versatile tactical transport
  • It is capable of carrying up to nine tonnes of payload or as many as 71 troops at a maximum cruise speed of 260 knots
  • It is capable of being equipped for the air-to-air refuelling of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters
  • It is fitted with a retractable landing gear and features an unobstructed 12.69-meter-long pressurized cabin
  • The C295 cruises at altitudes up to 30,000 ft., while also retaining excellent low-level flight characteristics
  • It has remarkable Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) performance from unpaved, soft, and sandy/grass airstrips
  • The C295 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G turboprop engines
  • The C295 has an outstanding track record of reliability, demonstrating daily its worth as a highly efficient workhorse
  • The C295’s baseline now includes winglets that provide even better performance in all phases of flight
  • It is also combat proven, having been successfully used during long deployments

Which aircraft will C-295 replace?

The order for  C295 aircraft was placed to replace the IAF’s fleet of ageing Avro-748 planes that had entered service in the early 1960s. For more than a decade, the Avro replacement project was in the works. Earlier in 2012, the defence acquisition council, India’s apex defence procurement body, gave its Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) in 2012 to replace the Avro planes with 56 new aircraft. Notably, AoN by the council is the primary step towards purchasing military hardware under India's defence procurement rules. 

ALSO READ: Boeing begins production of Apache helicopters in Arizona for Indian Army: All you need to know

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