The defence ministry said manufacturing of over 13,400 detail parts, 4,600 sub-assemblies and all the seven major component assemblies of the aircraft will be undertaken in India

VADODARA: In a major step, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone of the joint manufacturing facility of the Airbus and TATA Consortium of Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) led by TASL here.

The facility will manufacture C-295 medium transport planes for the Indian Air Force, the first time that the C-295 aircraft will be manufactured outside of Europe and by a private company. The total cost of the project is Rs 21,935 crore.

The manufacturing unit will also cater for the export of the premier transport aircraft as well as for additional orders by the Indian Air Force.

Calling it transformative, the Prime Minister said, "The transport aircraft that will be manufactured here will not only give power to our Armed forces but also develop a new ecosystem of manufacturing aircraft... Soon, India will witness the passenger aircraft that will be made with the tag of 'Make In India'."

"Today, India is one of the fastest-developing aviation sectors. We are soon to enter the list of the top three nations in terms of air traffic. In the coming 10-15 years, India will require over 2000 passenger and cargo aircraft. This reflects how fast we'll be developing." PM Modi added.

Over 100 MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) spread over seven states will be linked to this project said Prime Minister Modi.

Under the agreement, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in 'fly-away' condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain within four years and the subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India.

The first 16 fly-away aircraft are scheduled to be received between September 2023 and August 2025.

The first Made in India aircraft is expected in September 2026 and the remaining 39 will have to be produced by August 2031. Every year, a total of 8 aircraft will be produced at the facility.

There are 34 other countries which operate the C-295 aircraft. Till date, more than 200 aircraft have been delivered.

The approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security for the procurement of fifty-six C-295 MW transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space SA, Spain for the Indian Air Force was accorded in September 2021.

The aircraft can be used for civilian purposes as well.

The foundation laying ceremony was attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel among others.

Speaking on the occasion, N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons said, "With the setting up of the Final Assembly line (FAL) in Vadodara, the Tata Group will now be able to take aluminium ingots at one end of the value stream and turn it into a C-295 aircraft for the IAF."

After the completion of the delivery of 56 aircraft to the IAF, Airbus Defence and Space will be allowed to sell the aircraft manufactured in India to civil operators and export to countries which are cleared by the Government of India.

Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar three days back said the indigenous content in the plane will be the highest ever in India, and that 96 per cent of the work that Airbus does in Spain to produce the plane will be done at the manufacturing unit in Vadodara.

Officials said the project offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into the technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation industry.

The C-295MW aircraft has a 5-10 ton capacity and possesses contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of IAF.

The aircraft has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo. The short take-off/land from semi-prepared surfaces is another of its features.

The aircraft has a maximum speed of 480 kmph.

The aircraft will strengthen the logistic capabilities of the IAF. It can carry either 71 passengers or 44 fully equipped paratroopers or 24 stretchers.

More than 13400 detail parts, 4600 sub-assemblies and all seven major component assemblies, including nose fuselage, outer wings, centre wing box, centre fuselage, rear fuselage, doors and empennage will be manufactured at this facility.

Final assembly work like integration of systems and assembly of aero systems of the C-295MW will also be carried out at the facility.

IAF officials said the C-295 aircraft would be able to operate from Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) and even unprepared runways.

All 56 aircraft will be fitted with an indigenous electronic warfare suite to be developed by the state-run Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Limited.

The project is expected to generate 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3,000 indirect jobs and an additional 3,000 medium-skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh man-hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector.

Nearly 240 engineers will be trained at the Airbus facility in Spain for the project.