New Delhi: In a major development to boost the Indian Defence Force, the Ministry of Defence is continuously taking various steps right from signing a deal for the procurement of 31 MQ-9 Reaper, worth over $ three billion, to the purchase of 56 C-295 aircrafts for the replacement of ageing Avro-748 planes. The Indian Air Force has received its first of the 56 C-295 aircraft that landed at the Vadodara air base in Gujarat on Wednesday, September 20.
The formal induction of C-295 into IAF
The first aircraft, which is likely to take part in this year’s Air Force Day parade to be held at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh on October 8, will be formally inducted into the IAF at the Hindan air base on September 25. This year, IAF will celebrate its 91st anniversary.
How much will it cost to India?
It is a part of India’s deal with Airbus Defence and Space to procure 56 C-295 aircrafts to replace the IAF’s ageing Avro Hawker Siddeley HS748, a twin-engine turboprop military transport. Avro-748 planes, the British-origin freighter, have been serving the Indian Air Force since the 1960s. The fleet of 56 C-295 will become part of the Indian Air Force with an investment of Rs 21,935 crore.
C295: Replacing Avro aircraft in service with IAF
Initially designed and developed by the Spanish aerospace company CASA, the CASA C-295 transporter, which is now known as Airbus C-295, is a medium tactical transport aircraft. Currently, CASA is a part of Airbus and developing the aircraft at Airbus’s plant in Spain.
Perfect for low-level flight
The C-295 aircraft can attain a maximum speed of 260 knots and has the capacity to carry a load of 5-10 tonnes. It will boost the Indian Air Force with its potential of ferrying as many as 71 troops.
While flying at speed as slow as 110 knots, the aircraft has been perfectly designed for the low-level flight characteristics for tactical missions. These characteristics of the aircraft will provide additional support to the para jumpers as well as other troops in conducting operations in tough terrains.
When will IAF receive fleets of C-295?
While the first C-295 is all set to be inducted into the IAF on September 25, the other 15 aircrafts, in flyaway condition, will be delivered by the Airbus to the IAF between September 2023 and August 2025. The remaining 40 aircrafts will be developed by India at its upcoming transport aircraft manufacturing facility at Vadodara. The factory will be set up by Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) in association with Airbus Defence and Space.