New Delhi, Sep 25 (EFE).- The Indian Air Force on Monday officially introduced its first C-205 tactical transport aircraft, made in Spain by European manufacturer Airbus, as part of a deal to deliver 16 of these military aircrafts to India.
“This medium lift tactical aircraft is capable of taking off and landing from unprepared landing grounds and it will replace the HS-748 Avro aircraft,” Indian defense minister Rajnath Singh said on Twitter, formerly X, along with posting photos of the ceremony to inaugurate the plane.
Singh took part in the unveiling of the plane along with the military top brass and the Spanish ambassador to India, Jose Maria Ridao, and stressed that “the induction of C-295 will bolster medium lift tactical capability of the IAF.”
“The Defence and Aerospace sectors are the two important pillars for making India self-reliant in coming years,” Singh said.
The aircraft had arrived last week at the airbase in the western Indian city of Vadodara, before being handed over to IAF chief VR Chaudhari at the Airbus facilities in Seville a few days earlier.
The delivery was made as part of an acquisition contract signed between the Indian government and Airbus in 2021 that includes 56 aircraft of this type.
Out of these, the first 16 are set to be assembled in Spain and delivered in “fly-away” condition over the next two years.
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 project has an estimated total cost of around $263 million.
The C-295 aircraft – with a capacity of up to 10 tons and a 11-hour flying range – has the ability to land on short and poorly conditioned runways and can carry up to 71 soldiers or 50 paratroopers.
The induction and on-time delivery of C-295 comes at a time when Spain is trying to secure another deal to manufacture high-tech conventional submarines as part of Indian navy’s project-75.
“The program by the Airbus Spain company and eventually the delivery of six submarines to India are Spain’s contribution to the stability of the Indo-Pacific and a proof of our commitment to the region,” Ridao told EFE. EFE