The Cabinet Committee of security on Wednesday approved the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force. The aircraft will be procured from Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain. About 16 of the aircraft will be delivered within 48 months of signing the contract in a flyway condition while the remaining will be manufactured in India by the TATA Consortium within ten years of the signing of the contract. Defence ministry sources said 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 the indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite. “The project will give a boost to the aerospace ecosystem in India wherein several MSMEs spread over the country will be involved in manufacturing parts of the aircraft,” an official said.

“The program will provide a major boost to the `Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ as it offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation Industry. The project will augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and an expected increase in exports,” the official said explaining the aim behind the project.

IAF's Avro aircraft is ageing and the new transport aircraft with arear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo will replace the Avro aircraft of the IAF.

A large number of detail parts, sub-assemblies and major component assemblies of Aerostructures will be manufactured in India generating 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3000 indirect jobs and an additional 3,000 medium skill employment opportunities, the defence ministry said.

"It will involve the development of specialised infrastructure in form of hangars, buildings, aprons and taxiway. During the process of manufacturing in India, it is expected that all the suppliers of TATA Consortium who will be involved in special processes will gain and maintain globally recognised National Aerospace and Defence Contractors Accreditation Program accreditation.

Before completion of deliveries, 'D' Level servicing facility these new aircraft will be set up. It is expected that this facility will act as a regional MRO hub for various variants of C-295 aircraft. In addition, the OEM will also discharge its offset obligations through direct purchase of eligible products and services from Indian Offset Partners giving a further boost to the economy, an official said.