Construction is about to start of Tata Group’s factory to manufacture Airbus C-295 light transport aircraft in India, the country’s officials announced.
A consortium of Tata and Airbus will set up the production line for the aircraft in Vadodara, Gujarat state.
“For the first time, the C-295 aircraft will be manufactured outside of Europe,” India’s Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar is quoted as saying by Livemint.
Setting up production
According to a press release from the Indian Ministry of Defense, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is going to lay the foundation stone for the new factory on October 30, 2022.
Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are going to run the project, manufacturing 40 aircraft for the total cost of Rs 21,935 crore ($2.66 billion).
India will also receive 16 C-295MW aircraft manufactured by Airbus, with deliveries starting in September 2023. Deliveries of the first domestically-manufactured C-295 are expected to start in September 2026, the release states.
The plan to initiate domestic production of the aircraft was first laid out in 2021, following an initial order for 56 C-295s.
A significant upgrade
The Airbus C-295 is a light military transport aircraft capable of transporting up to 7,050 kilograms (15,543 pounds) of payload.
Introduced in 2021, it is operated by over a dozen countries, including Spain, Portugal, United Arab Emirates, Canada and Egypt.
In the Indian Air Force, it is going to replace an ageing fleet of Avro 748M light transporters that entered service in the 1960s.
The C-295 has significantly longer range and can carry more payload than the aircraft it replaces, plus it has better capability to operate in mountainous regions.
In addition, domestic production of the aircraft is expected to generate over 300 jobs directly and 3,000 indirectly, the Defence Ministry press release explains, adding that 240 Indian engineers are also going to be trained at an Airbus facility in Spain.