Indian Ambassador to Spain, Dinesh K Patnaik, hailed the delivery of the first Indian C-295 to the Indian Air Force — made by the global aircraft manufacturer Airbus — and called it “one of the best” Make in India projects that has been ever done. He said that this development will move the supply chain to India and will lead to the creation of an aircraft ecosystem in India.

Speaking to ANI, Patnaik said, “This is probably the best ‘Make in India’ program we have implemented ever. Out of these 56 aircraft, a plane has over 14,000 parts. Out of them, 13,600 parts will be Made in India. Earlier, it used to be an assembling job, but now the production has to be done in India. “This means the large part of the supply chain, which goes into the making of an aircraft, will move to India.

Global supply chain of Airbus is massive supply chain, and all this has to move to India, that in itself is the beauty of the project,” he added. He further said that today’s event is important because it was able to adhere to the schedule, despite legal complications. “So, I am very happy that we have not just adhered to the delivery schedule, but have done it 10 days in advance. This means the next 16 aircrafts will go on time to India. But more than this…the whole aerospace ecosystem will have to move to India,” the Indian envoy said.

He added, “The next 40 aircrafts, and these 40 aircrafts is just tip of the iceberg, because Indian Air Force has to replace a large number of aircrafts. C-295 is the perfect one to replace most of them, and we are looking for more orders in the future”.. The Indian envoy added that the development will lead to the creation of aerospace ecosystem in India. “But, the most important is the creation of aerospace ecosystem. In the past we have purchased lot of aircrafts, but we have never created aerospace ecosystem in India.

This will create aerospace ecosystem in private and public sector…it can also translate into production of civilian aircraft, into production of other ATRs. It has a much larger ramification than just a aircraft,” Patnaik added. Earlier in the day, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari received the first C-295 transport aircraft made for India by global aircraft manufacturer Airbus at a facility in Seville in Spain. The Airbus officials handed over the keys of the aircraft to the Indian Air Force chief Chaudhari. After receiving the delivery of the first C-295 transport aircraft, the IAF chief said that it is a major milestone for the whole country and that it is a stepping stone for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

The aircraft is the first of 16 C-295 that will be produced in Spain and the remaining 40 will be made in an Indian facility in Gujarat’s Vadodara under a joint venture of Tata and Airbus. The aircraft is expected to be inducted formally into the service at a ceremony in Hindan around September last week. The Indian Air Force chief was personally involved in the contract at important stages as Deputy Chief of Air Staff where he was leading the contract negotiations. Indian Defence Ministry and Airbus Defence and Space, Spain signed a contract for procurement of 56 C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force in September 2021.

C-295MW aircraft is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of the Indian Air Force. The aircraft has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and paradropping of troops and cargo. Sixteen aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of signing of the contract and forty aircraft will be manufactured in India by TATA Consortium within 10 years of the signing of the contract.

This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. All 56 aircraft will be installed with an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite. The project will give a boost to aerospace ecosystem in India in which several MSMEs spread over the country will be involved in the manufacturing of parts of the aircraft, according to a press release of the Ministry of Defence. The programme will provide a major boost to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ of the Government as it offers a unique opportunity for the Indian Private Sector to enter into a technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation Industry. The project is expected to augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and an expected increase in exports.