PM Modi in Gujarat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Tata-Airbus-owned facility to manufacture C295 military transport planes on October 30, 2022, ahead of the forthcoming assembly elections in the state. India will enter an illustrious league of about only a dozen nations with the capacity to manufacture military transport aircraft, officials said. They said the project will also be a big boost to the 'Make In India' push of the government. With the launch of the C295 aircraft manufacturing facility, they said, India will become the 12th country with the capacity to manufacture such aircraft. Currently, the US, Japan, UK, Russia, France, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Brazil, China, and Japan has that capacity, they added. According to an Allied Market Research report, the military transport aircraft industry is set to reach USD 45 billion by 2030. Tata-Airbus facility is due to complete its IAF commitment by 2031 and can start exporting its products to other nations as well, they said. Indian airline companies are one of the biggest buyers of commercial aircraft with an ever-expanding order book of 1,100 aircraft since 2011. Demand for commercial aircraft coupled with the C295 aircraft manufacturing facility and associated supply chain will create the required ecosystem to support the development of the commercial aircraft manufacturing industry in India, the officials said.
- The Vadodara facility will be initially geared to manufacture eight aircraft each year, but it has been designed such that it can also cater to the additional needs of Indian armed forces or exports, they said. According to the Defence Ministry, following the delivery of 56 aircraft to IAF, the combine will be allowed to sell India-built C295 aircraft to civil operators and countries cleared by the government.
- As the government eyes the transformation of the defence sector through its ambitious indigenous programmes, several projects for domestic manufacturing of defence platforms and equipment such as missiles, field guns, tanks, aircraft carriers, drones, fighter planes, and helicopters are underway, fulfilling the modernisation needs of the armed forces, they noted.
- However, military transport aircraft was one of the critical missing links in the entire defence industrial complex chain, officials added, asserting the joint venture between Tata and Airbus has plugged that missing piece and will significantly boost the 'Make in India' programme.
- The Indian armed forces will no longer have to depend on the old Avro planes of the 1960 generation for their transportation needs, officials said.
- The Tata-Airbus combine had said that C295 manufacturing is the first Make in India aerospace programme in the private sector involving the full development of a complete industrial ecosystem.
- It involves manufacture to assembly, test and qualification, to delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft, they said.
- Under the terms of the deal, 16 C295 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between September 2023 and August 2025 in flyaway condition, while the remaining 40 aircraft will be manufactured at the Vadodara facility, they noted.
- In another first indigenous content in the planes will be the highest ever in India, and 96 per cent of the work that Airbus does in Spain will now be done at the new facility, they added.
- The defence ministry has said this project offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter the technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation industry. It will augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and an expected increase in exports, the ministry said. Further, 13,400 parts, 4,600 sub-assemblies and all significant component assemblies will be manufactured by 25 domestic MSME suppliers spread across seven states, officials said.
- All these 56 aircraft will be fitted with an indigenous electronic warfare suite developed by Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Limited.
(With inputs from PTI)