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Airbus Defence and Space has signed a cooperation agreement with Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) to submit a joint bid for a contract to replace the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Avro aircraft fleet.

The team is offering combat-proven Airbus C295 medium transport for the contract, which covers replacement of 56 Avro aircraft.

Under the terms of agreement, Airbus will supply the first 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition from its own final assembly line in the event of contract award.

Serving as the Indian Production Agency (IPA) for the programme, TASL will manufacture and assemble the remaining 40 aircraft in India.

Specific work to be performed by TASL includes undertaking structural assembly, final aircraft assembly, systems integration and testing, as well as management of the indigenous supply chain.

Airbus Defence and Space Military Aircraft executive vice-president Domingo Uren~a Raso said: "We firmly believe that, in the C295, we have clearly the best aircraft to replace the IAF Avro fleet and, in Tata Advanced Systems, we have secured the cream of the Indian private aerospace sector as our partner for this project.

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"We firmly believe that, in the C295, we have clearly the best aircraft to replace the IAF Avro fleet."

"The C295 is a superbly reliable and tough aircraft with outstanding economics, which is proven in the most difficult operating conditions all over the world."

Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW127G turboprop engines, the C-295 is a stretched derivative of the CN-235 transporter. It is designed to perform tactical airlift, search-and-rescue, maritime patrol and environmental surveillance missions.

The aircraft has a high-wing, rear-loader design that enables easy-loading of mission pallets, passengers, cargo and litters for medical evacuation, communication and logistic duties or paratrooping operations.

To date, the aircraft has been sold to 19 countries, including Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Finland, Jordan, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

Image: Airbus and TASL are offering C295 medium transport for IAF’s Avro replacement contract. Photo: courtesy of Airbus Defence and Space.

Defence Technology