SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
India will become the 31st country that has placed orders for C-295 medium tactical transport aircraft but unlike other countries, India will also be getting rights to license assemble this aircraft that will be done the first time by a Private defense contract in the country. Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) has been selected as its local partner by Airbus, thus making only the second C-295 plant outside Seville, Spain. India has placed orders for 56 aircraft for the air force to replace its aging Avro aircraft but the potential orders as per defense analysts in the next two decades could reach a three-figure mark if the aircraft is also selected as An-32 replacement that for long has been the backbone of IAF’s Medium haul transporter fleet.
Indian Coast Guard already has requested six C-295 aircraft and the Navy is already looking to use C-295 as a platform to mount Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMMA) suite that DRDO is developing for the Navy. Tata Advanced Systems Limited plant will also be used as a Maintenance Repair and Operations (MRO) facility for all the regional operators in South Asia., that could mean the facility will remain operational long after it has delivered all the aircraft contracted by the Indian military.
Like Dornier that was license-produced in India from a German company by HAL, C-295 has the potential for becoming the next product over the years that can be used for various other applications and also create the necessary infrastructure for the development of the Transporter in long term.
TASL recently acquired intellectual property (IP) rights for a German-origin Grob G 180 SPn aircraft that it wants to build locally but also offers it as a platform that can perform cross-border surveillance, signal intelligence missions. TASL with experience gained from Grob G 180 SPn and C-295 will emerge as an ideal candidate that in the coming year will help India develop its indigenous military aircraft and in a way also end sole dominance of the HAL in the sector that has been unchallenged for decades now.
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