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NEW DELHI :

The Cabinet Committee on Security on Wednesday gave its go ahead for the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The C-295MW aircraft is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of IAF. The aircraft has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo, a defence ministry statement said. 

The deal is estimated to be worth about $2.6  billion. 

While 16 aircraft will be procured in a flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months of signing of the contract, the remaining 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India by a TATA led consortium within ten years of signing of the contract, it said. 

 “This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. All fifty six aircraft will be installed with indigenously developed  electronic warfare suites. 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," the defence ministry statement said. 

“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 said.  

A major portion of the parts for aero structure is scheduled to be manufactured in India.  

 “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 said. 

 “It will involve development of specialized infrastructure in form of hangars, buildings, aprons and taxiways.  During the process of manufacturing in India, it is expected that all the suppliers of Tata Consortium, who will be involved in special processes, will gain and maintain globally recognized National Aerospace and Defence Contractors Accreditation Program (NADCAP) accreditation," it said. 

 A maintenance, repair and overhaul facility for servicing the aircraft is to be set up in India before the completion of deliveries, the statement said.

 “It is expected that this facility will act as a regional MRO hub for various variants of C-295 aircraft," the statement added. 

Besides this, Airbus will also discharge its offset obligations through direct purchase of eligible products and services from Indian firms, giving further boost to economy.

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