The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The aircraft will be purchased from Airbus Defence and Space in Spain.

The C-295MW aircraft is a transport aircraft that will replace IAF’s ageing Avro aircraft. The aircraft can also conduct para drops of troops and cargo.

In a statement, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) noted that 16 aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within four years of the contract signing.

The remaining 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India by TATA consortium within ten years of contract signing.

The MoD said: “This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. All 56 aircraft will be installed with indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.

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“The project will give a boost to aerospace ecosystem in India wherein several MSMEs spread over the country will be involved in manufacturing of parts of the aircraft.”

This flight procurement programme is expected to provide a major boost to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Multiple detail parts, sub-assemblies and major component assemblies of aerostructure for the aircraft are scheduled to be produced in India.

The programme is expected to create 600 direct jobs, more than 3,000 indirect jobs and a further 3,000 medium skill employment opportunities within India’s aerospace and defence sector.

India plans to set up ‘D’ Level servicing facility (MRO) for C-295MW aircraft before rolling out deliveries.

This facility is expected to serve as a regional MRO hub for various C-295 aircraft variants.

In July, the IAF formally inducted Rafale aircraft into 101 Squadron of the Eastern Air Command (EAC) at the Hasimara Air Force Station (AFS) in the state of West Bengal, India.