SOURCE: DEEPAK HILORI/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Tata becomes the first Private sector company in India that will be manufacturing C-295 Transport Aircraft in India under license from Airbus. This is first for TATA which will be manufacturing not some airframes or components as part of the supply chain for an aircraft but will be the lead integrator for the assembly of the whole aircraft in the country.
State-owned Aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which was deliberately left out of the program lost an opportunity to be part of such a big program in India but the company has decades of experience in manufacturing earlier Avro and later Dornier Do228 Transport aircraft for the Indian Armed Forces.
India’s Transporter requirements don’t end here, in the next few years, IAF will be seeking new aircraft to replace its aging Soviet-era IL-76 strategic airlifter that was procured in the early ’80s that is already suffering from a poor supply chain due to aging engines and avionics that are harder to source unless they are upgraded to the latest standard which will be more and more difficult due to ongoing economic sanctions on Russia.
IAF missed a Golden opportunity when it failed to secure enough C-17 Globemaster III before the production line closed down, IAF still has requirements for 2-3 more C-17S that are becoming difficult to source due to high demand for the aircraft, and current operators are not interested in letting their present fleet go.
It’s high time that the oldest player in the Indian Aerospace sector and the newest company to work on Transport aircraft join hands with IAF and start working on developing an IL-76 replacement program that will in the future also replace C-17s. IAF could have combined requirements for nearly 30 units of such aircraft and modified aircraft for force multipliers like AWACS, MMTT, etc can also be planned.
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