SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
After being left out of the C-295M deal for the manufacturing of transport aircraft which for the first time went to the Private sector company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been trying to drum up support for the development of Medium Category Transport Aircraft after India walked out of the Indo-Russian MTA Program to develop Transport aircraft with an internal cargo capacity of 20 ton.
Indian Air Force (IAF) already has started the procurement process for a Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) that would have a cargo-carrying capacity of between 18 and 30 tonnes and be used for a variety of transport aircraft duties. idrw.org has been told that even though it has been called the An-32 Replacement program, it is expected that additional orders for C-295M will eventually happen that will be replacing the An-32 fleet.
Sources close to idrw.org are confident that State-owned HAL will be proposing developing a Medium Category Transport Aircraft that is to be positioned to bridge the size and capability gap between the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules and the IL-76 aircraft in the IAF with a maximum takeoff weight of 80-90 tons and an internal cargo capacity of 30 ton.
HAL already has been in talks with the Brazilian Embraer that has offered its C-390 Millennium a medium-size, twin-engine, jet-powered military transport aircraft but the current RFI will make it unsuitable since it has an internal cargo capacity of 23 tons. idrw.org has been told that there is one more proposal from the Embraer but the details of this proposal are not out yet.
IAF operates 17 Il-76MDs that were acquired between 1985-89 and continue to have low operational capabilities and will need to be replaced after 2030 due to their advancing age. HAL likely will present a scalable platform that can be developed in partnership with a Foreign OEM that will also eventually replace IL-76 when a bigger variant is developed at a later stage.
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