How significant is the setting up of the C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing facility in Vadodara to India’s domestic industry? Which are the major companies within India’s growing civil aviation sector?
On October 30, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi layed the foundation stone for the C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing facility in Vadodara to be set up by Airbus Defence and Space and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL). This is the first time a private sector company would be manufacturing a full aircraft in the country. This is a huge step forward for India in the global aircraft manufacturing domain.

What Is The C-295MW Transporter?

The C-295MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 ton capacity which will replace the legacy Avro aircraft in the Indian Air Force (IAF) procured in the 1960s. The Request For Proposal (RFP) was issued to global firms in May 2013 and the sole bid by Airbus and TASL was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council in May 2015. On September 24, 2021 the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a ₹21,935 crore contract with Airbus Defence and Space for the acquisition of 56 C-295MW aircraft along with associated equipment.

Of the 56 aircraft contracted, 16 will come in fly-away condition from Spain between September 2023 and August 2025. The remaining 40 will be manufactured here to be delivered between September 2026 and 2031 at the rate of eight aircraft per year. Nearly 240 engineers will be trained at the Airbus facility in Spain for the project, the MoD said. The C-295 has very good fuel efficiency and can take off and land from short as well as unprepared runways. The IAF will base its first C-295 squadron in Vadodara by converting the Avro squadron located there, as the fly-away aircraft start coming in.