First C-295 transport aircraft of Indian Air Force lands in Gujarat's Vadodara
The first C-295 medium tactical transport aircraft landed in Vadodara on Wednesday, days after it was handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the southern Spanish city of Seville.
The aircraft, which was flown by Group Captain PS Negi, would be formally inducted into the IAF at a ceremony that will be held in Hindon near Delhi on September 25.
The plane took off from Spain on September 15 from Seville and made three stopovers in Malta, Egypt and Bahrain before landing in Vadodara.
The IAF’s first C-295 MW aircraft landed in Vadodara today. The aircraft would be handed over to the #IAF in a formal ceremony on 25 Sep 23 at AF Stn Hindon by the Honourable Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh,” the IAF shared a post on X.
After receiving the delivery of the aircraft, IAF Chief Chaudhari termed it a major milestone for India and said that the induction of the aircraft would improve IAF’s tactical airlift capabilities.
It is a major milestone not only for IAF but for the whole country. This is for two reasons – first, for IAF it improves our tactical airlift capabilities. For a nation, it marks the beginning of a new era,” news agency ANI quoted Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari as saying.
“For Atmanirbhar Bharat, after the first 16 aircraft roll out from this plant, the 17th aircraft onwards will be made in India. It’s a big step for the Indian aviation industry where we will be manufacturing the first military transport aircraft in the country,” he added.
On September 13, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari received India’s first C-295 transport aircraft, two years after India finalised a Rs 21,935-crore deal with Airbus Defence and Space to procure the jets to replace its ageing Avro–748 fleet.
Milestone in military aircraft production
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on October 30, 2022, inaugurated the groundbreaking ceremony for the C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing facility in Vadodara, Gujarat.
This pioneering facility, the first of its kind in the private sector in India, is poised to manufacture C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in collaboration with Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain.
The C295 is renowned for its versatility and is employed for various purposes, including the tactical transport of up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers, as well as logistics operations in areas that are inaccessible to heavier aircraft.