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In a significant move to strengthen its maritime capabilities, the Indian Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) recently cleared the procurement of 15 C295 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) for the Indian Navy and Indian Coastguard. This deal, valued at Rs. 29,000 crore, promises to enhance India’s surveillance, reconnaissance, and search & rescue operations, while also bolstering its anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

The C295 comes in two configurations: the Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and the Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA). Both configurations contribute to strengthened national security. The MSA emphasizes surveillance and reconnaissance, while the MPA adds anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

To ensure smooth production and delivery, the project will adopt a hybrid approach. While four aircraft will be initially built in Spain, the remaining 11 will be manufactured in India by the Tata-Airbus facility in Gujarat. This not only promotes self-reliance in the defense sector but also fosters the growth of indigenous aerospace capabilities.

The highlight of this acquisition is the advanced MPA configuration. Designed for high connectivity and collaborative operations, it can seamlessly integrate with other platforms across different domains, boosting overall maritime situational awareness. Notably, the chosen MPA configuration is the most complex C295 mission variant developed to date, showcasing its cutting-edge technology and versatility.

Key benefits of the C295 acquisition:

  • Enhanced Maritime Surveillance: Increased coverage and real-time data will strengthen India’s ability to monitor its vast coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
  • Improved Anti-Submarine Warfare: The MPA configuration specifically equips India to deter and counter underwater threats more effectively.
  • Strengthened Search & Rescue Operations: The aircraft’s long range and endurance will prove invaluable in rescuing personnel at sea.
  • Boost to Indigenous Defense Industry: Manufacturing 11 aircraft in India fosters technology transfer and skill development, propelling domestic aerospace capabilities.

This acquisition marks a significant step towards modernizing India’s maritime surveillance and defense infrastructure. The C295, with its advanced capabilities and hybrid production model, serves as a valuable asset in securing India’s maritime interests and safeguarding its coastal borders.

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