SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is poised to enhance its strategic airlift capabilities with the recent induction of the C-295M Transport Aircraft. Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari, the Chief of Air Staff, has not ruled out the possibility of acquiring additional units of this versatile aircraft, which promises to play a pivotal role in India’s military logistics.
India’s collaboration with Airbus to procure 56 C-295M Transport Aircraft is a significant step toward strengthening its airlift capabilities. The first of these aircraft arrived in India after being manufactured in Spain, marking the beginning of a transformative partnership. The Airbus-Tata facility in Gujarat is set to locally manufacture 40 of these aircraft, contributing to the “Make in India” initiative.
Sources within the defence establishment suggest that the IAF may consider placing orders for an additional 40 C-295M Transport Aircraft at a later stage.
The reach of the C-295M extends beyond the IAF. Both the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard are slated to acquire the C-295M variant known as the Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR). This version is designed to serve maritime surveillance and reconnaissance missions, further enhancing India’s maritime security.
The C-295M is a workhorse with a carrying capacity of 5-10 tonnes. It can accommodate up to 71 troops or 49 para-troopers and boasts a maximum cruise speed of 260 knots. Its low-level flight capabilities make it ideal for tactical missions, even at speeds as slow as 110 knots. The aircraft features a rear ramp door for rapid troop and cargo deployment, making it a valuable asset in various scenarios.
All 56 C-295M aircraft will be equipped with an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite developed by Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Limited. This advanced system enhances the aircraft’s survivability and situational awareness, a crucial aspect of modern air operations.
The C-295M is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127G turboprop engines, offering short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities and the ability to utilize unprepared airstrips. It can be configured for medical evacuation missions, accommodating 24 stretchers and seven medical attendants, further showcasing its adaptability.
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