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NEW DELHI: India on Friday inked a nearly 20,000 crore contract with Airbus Defence and Space, Spain to procure 56 C-295 medium transport aircraft to replace the Avro-748 planes of the Indian Air Force.

The long-pending procurement was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security earlier this month.

"Contract signed between #MinistryOfDefence and @AirbusDefence& Space, Spain for procurement of 56 C-295 transport aircraft for the #IAF," defence ministry spokesperson A Bharat Bhushan Babu said in a Twitter post.

“Congratulations to Airbus Defence, Tata Advanced Systems Limited and the Indian Defence Ministry @tataadvanced @indiandefence @AirbusDefence @TataCompanies," Ratan N Tata Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons, said in a Twitter post.

Under the pact, 16 aircraft will be delivered in a flyaway condition by the Airbus Defence and Space within 48 months of signing the contract. The remaining 40 planes will be manufactured in India by a consortium of the Airbus Defence and Space, and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) within 10 years of signing the contract, officials said.

The C-295 MW aircraft is a transport plane of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology including a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo, a defence ministry statement said.

This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. It aims to give a boost to the Indian private sector in defence manufacturing.

“All fifty six aircraft will be installed with indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite. The project will give a boost to aerospace ecosystem in India wherein several MSMEs (micro,medium and small enterprises) spread over the country will be involved in manufacturing of parts of the aircraft," a defence ministry statement issued on 8 September has said.

A large number of detail parts, sub-assemblies and major component assemblies of aerostructure are scheduled to be manufactured in India.

“The programme will provide major boost to the `Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ of the Government as it offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into technology intensive and highly competitive aviation industry. The project will augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and expected to increase exports," it had said.

“The programme will act as a catalyst in employment generation in the aerospace ecosystem of the country and is expected to generate 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3000 indirect jobs and an additional 3000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh man hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India," the statement had added.

 

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