In a "Make in India" aerospace programme milestone, the tactical aircraft C295 completed its maiden flight on Monday. The aircraft took off from Seville in Spain at 1:45 am local time (GMT+1) and landed at 2:45 pm after three hours of flight, Airbus informed, sharing a video on Twitter.
"This first flight represents a significant accomplishment for the first Make in India aerospace programme. With the Indian Air Force set to become the largest operator of the C295 in the world, this programme exemplifies our commitment to improve the Indian Air Force (IAF) operational capabilities," said Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Military Air Systems at Airbus Defence and Space.
✅ Engine run— Airbus Defence (@AirbusDefence) May 8, 2023
✅ First flight
The 1️⃣st #C295 for #India ???????? successfully completed its maiden flight! ???? This significant milestone further clears the way for delivery before end of the year.
Read the press release for more ℹ️ : https://t.co/W6u53TCjUS@IAF_MCC pic.twitter.com/YjggKdwZbK
What is C295?
C295 is a tactical transport aircraft that can carry troops and logistical supplies from main airfields to forward operating airfields of the country. The aircraft can also operate on unprepared airstrips as short as 2,200 feet as it is capable of Short Take-off and Landing (STOL).
According to Airbus, the aircraft can also fly low-level operations for tactical missions flying at 110 knots.
The C295 programme comprises 280 orders from 39 operators, making it an unmatched aircraft in its weight and mission class, the press release by Airbus said.
Significance of C295 for Make in India
Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of a C295 aircraft manufacturing plant in Vadodara, Gujarat, in October. The plant belongs to the Tata-Airbus consortium that will manufacture the transport aircraft for the IAF.
This is the first time a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company and outside Europe.
The manufacturing unit in India will cater to the export of C295 as well as additional orders by the IAF.
Under its 2021 deal worth Rs 21,935 crore with Airbus Defence and Space, India will procure 56 C295 aircraft. These will replace the Avro-748 planes used by the IAF since 1960.
The first 16 aircraft will be delivered from Airbus's final assembly line in Spain over a period of four years. The next 40 aircraft will be made by Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) in India as part of an industrial partnership with Airbus.
The 16 fly-away aircraft are expected to be delivered between September 2023 and August 2025. The first Made-in-India C295 will be ready to fly in September 2026, and the rest 39 by August 2031.
Then Airbus Defence and Space will be allowed to sell and export the made-in-India aircraft to civil operators and countries approved by the Government of India.