SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.
In response to RFI issued by the Indian Air Force (IAF), it has received three bids from three aerospace manufacturers but IAF has extended the deadline for submitting the bids now to the end of March due to requests from some of the Companies.
Lockheed Martin has offered its C-130J Super Hercules, a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft that is already in service with IAF under Transfer of Technology (TOT) clauses so that the aircraft could be assembled in India likely by Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) with an expected unit cost of the aircraft hovering around US$75.5 million with a payload capacity of 22-tons.
Russia has offered its Ilyushin Il-276 (SVTS), a medium-airlift military transport that is currently under development in Russia under Transfer of Technology (TOT) clauses so that the aircraft could be assembled in India by state-owned enterprises like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Ilyushin Il-276 with a payload capacity of 20 tons will have its first flight planned for later this year or in early 2024.
Embraer has offered its C-390 Millennium, a medium-size, twin-engine, jet-powered military transport aircraft, which the company claims will have a unit cost of around $50–55 million with a payload carrying capacity of 26 tons, which is highest in the bid submitted so far but well within 18-a 30-ton mark set by IAF in RFI.
Airbus is keen to offer its A400 Atlas, a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft that has a payload carrying capacity of 37000kgs but it might be debarred since IAF’s RFI set a higher payload carrying capacity at the 30-ton mark, due to which Airbus has sought some clarification from the IAF.
Ukrainian Antonov which in past has offered its An-178, a short-range medium-airlift military transport aircraft that can carry only 18 tons also might qualify but it is not clear if the company will be in a position due to ongoing war unless it is willing to sell its IP and handover its designs and drawings to let HAL take the lead.
South Korean KAI that is working on the Multi-mission Cargo eXperimental (MC-X) project, which is between the size and capabilities of Lockheed Martin’s C-130 and Airbus’ A400M transport aircraft is looking at a foreign industry partner could join the programme but not clear if they have an intention so send their bids before the deadline.
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