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C295 MW Transport Aircraft: A Watershed Moment!

C295 MW Transport Aircraft: C295 MW Transport Aircraft: Why in news?


  • On October 30th, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of a facility that will manufacture C295 MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
  • Gujarat’s Vadodara has been chosen to set up the joint venture facility of Airbus and India’s Tata Group.


C295 MW Transport Aircraft: A Timeline


  • The IAF has around 56 Avro transport aircraft procured in the 1960s, which were in the urgent need of replacement.
  • The Request For Proposal (RFP) was issued to global firms in May 2013 and the sole bid by Airbus and Tata Group with the C-295 aircraft was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in May 2015.
  • However, the Cabinet Committee on Security, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2021, finally cleared the procurement of 56 (Fifty-Six) C-295MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).


C295 MW Transport Aircraft: A Historic Step


  • The first of its kind Rs 21,935 crore military aircraft project will be a historic step towards giving fillip to the Indian defence ecosystem, as it is a milestone in terms of debut participation by India’s private sector — and probably the most crucially Make-in-India project.
  • At least 40 of the 56 aircraft that were contracted in 2021 will be built at the factory.
  • 16 aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition and 40 will be manufactured in India by the Indian Aircraft Contractor, TATA Consortium of Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) led by TASL.
  • The facility would serve as a hub for exports to meet C295 demands in other countries once it gets rolling, with a production rate of at least 8 aircraft per year.
  • Notably, as part of the program, over 13,400 parts, 4,600 sub-assemblies and all major assemblies, of the C295 would be sourced from 125 Indian suppliers spread across seven Indian states.
  • Further, all 56 aircraft will be fitted with indigenous Electronic Warfare suite of Indian Defence PSUs like Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).


C295 MW Transport Aircraft: The Age of the New-Generation Tactical Airlifter


‘Buy & Make’ category

  • The procurement of the new-generation tactical transport airlifter will be done under the ‘Buy & Make’ category of the Defence Procurement Procedure.
  • Out of the 56 aircraft, the first 16 fly-away aircraft are scheduled to be received between September 2023 and August 2025, from Airbus’s CASA facility in Spain. While the remaining 40 will be manufactured by ‘TATA Consortium’ in the upcoming Vadodara facility.

Robustly built and highly reliable

  • The 5-10 tonne C-295MW is equipped with contemporary technology that will replace IAF’s ageing Avro aircraft.
  • The aircraft has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo.
  • Further, the airlifter can take short take-off/land from semi-prepared surfaces, which will strengthen the logistic capabilities of the IAF in the tough terrains.

Capable of carrying multi-role operations

Capable of carrying multi-role operations worldwide under all weather conditions, the aircraft is fully certified and routinely operates day/night in combat missions in all weather conditions like desert, maritime, extremely hot and extremely cold temperatures. The aircraft will bring the much needed flying capabilities in the difficult terrains like North East, Himalayas, Valley among others.


C295 MW Transport Aircraft: Catalyst for Employment Generation


  • With 96% of the total human hour work per aircraft that Airbus employs at its manufacturing facility at Spain, coming to India, the indigenous manufacturing of the aircrafts will create employment opportunities for 600 highly skilled jobs, over 3,000 indirect jobs and an additional 3,000 medium-skill jobs.
  • Augmenting domestic aviation manufacturing will result in reduced import dependence and expected increase in exports.
  • Various systems such as engines, landing gear, avionics, EW suite among others will be provided by Airbus Defence & Space and integrated on the aircraft by the TATA Consortium in India.
  • Further, the TATA Consortium has identified more than 125 in-country MSME suppliers spread over seven states across India.
  • This will act as a catalyst in employment generation in the aerospace ecosystem of the country, with more than 42.5 lakh man-hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India.

FDI in Defence Sector

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