C-295 Transport Aircraft

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    Syllabus: GS3/Defence

    Context:

    • The C295 is expected to replace India’s ageing Avro-748 transport fleet, which was first flown in 1961.

    About:

    • India formalised the acquisition of 56 Airbus C-295 aircraft to replace the legacy Avro fleet of the IAF at a cost of Rs 21,935 crore in
      September 2021.
    • Under the deal, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in ‘fly-away’ condition from its final assembly line in Seville, in Spainby 2025 and the subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.
      • The 56th and final aircraft is expected to be delivered to the IAF by August 2031.
    • All the C-295 aircraft will be handed over in transport configuration and equipped with an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.
      • Indigenous Radar warning receiver and Missile Approach warning systems made by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and countermeasure dispensing system made by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) have been certified and installed on the first aircraft.

    Capabilities of C-295:

    • The C-295 is a transport aircraft that has a capacity of 5-10 tonnes, used for tactical transport of up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers, and for conducting logistic operations to locations that are not accessible for heavier aircraft.
    • It is capable of cruising at 260 kts with a ‘short take-off and land’ capability from semi-prepared surfaces in hilly terrain.
    • It has the capability of being equipped for air-to-air refuelling of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
    • C-295’s engines provide excellent manoeuvrability, and outstanding hot-and-high performance, with fuel consumption for a very long endurance of up to 13 hours aloft at altitudes up to 30,000 feets.

    Significance:

    • The acquisition of 56 C-295 aircraft will boost the Make in India initiatives and pave the way for the development of the industrial ecosystem in the aviation sector.
    • As the process will involve manufacturing, assembly, testing, qualification, delivery, and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft, it will attract huge investment and create several skilled and indirect jobs. 

    Source: TH