• Cabinet Committee on security approved the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain to replace the ageing Avro aircraft in service.
• The C-295MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity. It is powered by Pratt and Whitney PW127 engines.
• It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo.
• All 56 aircraft will be installed with indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.
Benefits of this move:
• MSME Growth-The project would give a boost to the aerospace ecosystem in India wherein several Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises spread over the country would be involved in manufacturing of parts of the aircraft.
• More employment– The programme would act as a catalyst in employment generation in the aerospace ecosystem of the country
• Technology transfer -This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India under technology transfer by a private company.
Role of Private Sector:
• This is the first initiative of its sort in which a commercial company will produce a military aircraft in India.
1. All TATA Consortium suppliers involved in specific procedures are expected to gain and maintain globally recognised National Aerospace and Defence Contractors Accreditation Program (NADCAP) accreditation during the manufacturing process in India.
2. NADCAP (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) is an industry-managed approach to conformity assessment of ‘special processes’ that brings together technical experts from prime contractors, suppliers and representatives from government to work together and establish requirements for approval of suppliers using a standardized approach.
3. Under the Make-in-India initiative in the aerospace sector, Airbus Defence and Space and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) will collaborate on the project to equip the Indian Air Force with new transport aircraft.
• Increasing the capacity of the IAF- The IAF has 56 Avro transport aircraft procured in the 1960s and in urgent need of replacement.
• Self Reliance – the programme will provide a major boost to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (self-reliant India initiative) as it offers a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter into technology-intensive and highly competitive aviation Industry.
• Reducing fiscal deficit and increasing the Forex reserve– The project will augment domestic aviation manufacturing resulting in reduced import dependence and expected increase in exports
• Offset Clause: Airbus will meet its offset obligations by purchasing qualified products and services directly from Indian offset partners, boosting the economy even more.
Mains Paper 3: Defence and Security
Prelims level: C-295MW
Mains level: Read the newsfeed