Airbus’ transport aircraft for Indian Air Force carries out maiden flight
New Delhi, May 8 (EFE).- Airbus announced on Monday that its C-295 tactical military transport aircraft for India, part of a fleet to be inducted in the Indian Air Force and subsequently manufactured in the South Asian nation, had completed its maiden test flight in Spain.
“This first flight represents a significant accomplishment for the first Make in India aerospace program. With the Indian Air Force set to become the largest operator of the C295 in the world, this program exemplifies our commitment to improve the Indian Air Force (IAF) operational capabilities,” Jean-Brice Dumont, head of military air systems at Airbus Defence and Space, said in a statement.
India had signed a deal with the European aircraft manufacturer in September 2021 to acquire 56 C-295 planes, out of which the first 16 are set to be assembled in Spain and delivered in “fly-away” condition.
The next 40 C-295s will be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems – a subsidiary of Indian business conglomerate Tata Group – in India in partnership with Airbus.
The manufacturing part of the deal is being carried out under the Indian government’s ambitious “Make in India” investment and development project.
“This program will significantly contribute to developing the country’s military industrial ecosystem from the manufacturing to assembly, testing, to delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft,” Airbus claimed.
Indian authorities had given the green light to the consortium formed by Airbus and Tata in May 2015 to open negotiations exclusively, which continued until 2019 before the aircrafts were formally acquired in 2019.
The Asian nation, one of the largest buyers of weapons in the world, intends to replace its aged fleet of AVRO military transport planes – twin-engine turboprop freighters originally developed by the United Kingdom – with the C-295s. EFE