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TATA consortium and Airbus to make military aircraft in India

TATA consortium and Airbus to make military aircraft in India

January 11, 2023 3:53 pm

The C-295MW transport aircraft to modernise the fleet for the Indian Air Force and to be made in India will replace the IAF’s AN-32 Avro aircraft fleet.

A collaboration between Airbus Defence and Space and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) is set to manufacture the C-295 military transport aircraft in India for the country’s air force. The foundation stone for the aircraft manufacturing facility in Gujarat was laid by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Ministry of Defence signed a contract with M/s Airbus Defence and Space S.A. to acquire the aircraft with associated equipment for procuring 56 C-295MW transport aircraft. Modi said: “India is moving forward with the mantra of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ and now it is becoming a huge manufacturer of transport aircraft. “We aim to scale our defence manufacturing beyond $25bn by 2025. Our defence exports will also exceed $5bn.”

Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar said, as part of the contract, 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. This is the first project of its kind in which a private company will manufacture a military aircraft in India. The total cost of the project is Rs 21,935 crore. The aircraft can be used for civilian purposes as well.

The $2.65bn (Rs21,935cr) projectwill see Airbus deliver the first 16 aircraft in flyaway condition between September 2023 and August 2025. Another 40 units will be manufactured at Vadodara’s facility by the consortium, including TASL and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The first Made in India aircraft is expected from September 2026. Aircraft capability C-295MW is a transport
aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of IAF. It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping troops and cargo. Short take-off/land from semi-prepared surfaces is another of its features. The aircraft will strengthen the logistic capabilities of the IAF.


The project offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter the technology – intensive and highly competitive aviation industry. It will augment domestic aviation manufacturing
resulting in reduced import dependence and an expected export increase. Also, 96 percent of the total man-hour work per aircraft that Airbus employs at its manufacturing facility in Spain will be undertaken in India by the TATA Consortium. Manufacturing over 13,400 Detail Parts, 4,600 subassemblies and all seven Major Component Assemblies will be undertaken in India, along with tools, jigs and testers. Airbus will provide engines, landing gear, avionics, and electronic warfare (EW) suite integrated into the aircraft by the TATA Consortium. The aircraft will be tested as an integrated system by the TATA Consortium. The aircraft will be flight tested and delivered through a Delivery Centre at the TATA Consortium facility.

All 56 aircraft will be fitted with the indigenous Electronic Warfare suite of Indian DPSUs – Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Limited. After the completion of the delivery of 56 aircraft to IAF, M/s Airbus Defence & Space will be allowed to sell the aircraft manufactured in India to civil operators and export to countries which the Government of India clears.

Skill employment opportunities

Indian micro, small and medium enterprise suppliers will also be involved in this project. MSMEs are crucial in manufacturing 40 C-295 transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force. Purchase of defence – related goods and services by the Defence Ministry from MSMEs via the government’s businessto-government (B2G) portal Government eMarketplace (GEM) during 2022 has surpassed the FY22 procurement level as per sources.

The TATA Consortium has identified more than 125 in-country MSME suppliers across seven states. This will act as a catalyst in employment generation in the country’s aerospace ecosystem and 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 of India. Nearly 240 engineers will be trained at the Airbus facility in Spain. All the aircraft will be equipped with the Bharat Electronics and Bharat Dynamics-made EW suite.

The 16 aircraft will be delivered between September 2023 and August 2025. Delivery of the Indian manufactured aircraft will start in September 2026. The remaining are estimated to be ready by August 2031. C-295, as a substitute, will ensure production continuity and timely deliveries of indigenous aircraft.

Moreover, the purchase of defence related goods and services by the Defence Ministry from MSMEs via the government’s business to-government (B2G) portal Government eMarketplace (GEM)
during the eight months of the current fiscal has surpassed the FY22 procurement level, according to the portal.

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