India’s Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL), in coalition with Airbus Defence and Space has signed a ₹ 22,000 crores contract with the central government to manufacture transport aircraft for the air force on Friday. As part of the agreement, Tata and Airbus will manufacture a total of 56 C-295 military aircraft for the Indian Air Force, making it the biggest private manufacturing military order to date for the country.
Out of the 56 C-295 aircraft, Airbus will provide 16 aircraft in flyaway condition to the Indian Air Force from Spain, while the remaining 40 will be manufactured locally by TASL over 10 years. The location for the manufacturing plant in India is still under debate with Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Noida being the top considerations.
A statement from the Indian Defense Ministry earlier this month said that the project is “extremely significant in terms of bolstering the aerospace ecosystem in India.” The statement also said that the program would aid employment generation in the aerospace industry of the country.
The Ministry of Defense expects the venture to generate 600 highly skilled jobs directly, and over 3,000 indirect jobs. It is speculated to create an additional 3,000 medium-skill employment opportunities in the country’s defence industry.
The contract has been signed as an extension of the ongoing Make in India initiative, launched by the PM Modi government to build an “Atmanirbhar Bharat ”. The deal is expected to further increase the participation of the private sector in military and defence manufacturing and encourage more private players to invest in the country’s military and defence industry.
The Airbus C-295 aircraft is used as a transport aircraft by the military to transport equipment, weapons, etc., and will replace Indian Air Force’s obsolete Avro aircraft fleet. The deal also includes technology transfer to the Indian company.