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Airbus is set to showcase its military muscle at India’s upcoming mega-exercise, ‘Tarang Shakti,’ in a bid to win key Indian Air Force (IAF) contracts. The European aerospace giant will demonstrate its A400M military transport aircraft, a contender for the IAF’s ambitious program to acquire 60-80 Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA).

The A400M demonstration, taking place alongside the exercise in Tamil Nadu this August, presents a unique opportunity for Airbus to impress IAF officials. Notably, the German Air Force, a participant in Tarang Shakti, will be deploying Tornado jets, Eurofighters, and Airbus A330 mid-air refuelling tankers – all platforms that Airbus is also actively pushing for IAF consideration. The Eurofighter is a competitor in the IAF’s MRFA tender for new fighter jets, while the A330 competes for the IAF’s requirement of six mid-air refuelling tankers.

Airbus enjoys a recent success story in India with the C-295M transport aircraft program. This project involves local manufacturing by the Tata Group, a strategy Airbus hopes to replicate with the A400M. However, the A400M faces a potential hurdle: its price tag. The aircraft’s complex, multinational supply chain across Europe could drive up costs compared to competitors.

Despite this challenge, Airbus remains confident in the A400M’s suitability for the IAF’s needs. They believe its capabilities align perfectly with the IAF’s requirements for a modern and versatile medium transport aircraft. The upcoming demonstration at Tarang Shakti provides a crucial platform for Airbus to showcase the A400M’s strengths and potentially secure a vital role in the IAF’s future transport fleet.

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