The first C-295 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force has landed at Vadodara Air Force Station in Gujarat. The aircraft was flown by Group Captain PS Negi and landed today after taking off from Bahrain. The aircraft would be formally inducted into the Indian Air Force by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at a ceremony scheduled on September 25 at the Hindan airbase near Delhi. A total of 56 aircraft would be inducted into the IAF and 40 of them would be manufactured in India by Tata-Airbus joint venture, according to IAF officials. Earlier on Saturday, the Indian Air Force's (IAF) first C-295 transport aircraft had left for India from Spain. The aircraft made stopovers in Malta, Egypt and Bahrain before reaching Vadodara.
"The aircraft is being flown by Group Captain PS Negi and will make stopovers in Malta, Egypt and Bahrain before reaching Vadodara in the next few days" IAF officials had said earlier.
Earlier, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari received the first of the 56 C295 transport aircraft two years after India sealed a Rs 21,935-crore deal with Airbus Defence and Space to procure the jets to replace its ageing Avro--748 fleet.
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari, receiving the aircraft at the aerospace major's production facility in the southern Spanish city of Seville, described it as a "momentous day" for the IAF and India as 40 C-295 out of the total fleet will be manufactured in Vadodara.
"It is a momentous day for us, for the Indian Air Force in particular, and a nation as a whole to receive the first aircraft which marks the beginning of a new era, wherein we will be manufacturing 40 of these aircraft in India," he said.