The Soviet-era transport aircraft AN-32 of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will now be replaced by the C-295 aircraft of the European company Airbus.
However, these aircraft are being manufactured in India only.
An Air Force official said that the Indian Air Force is preparing to modernize its transport fleet, under which this important change is being considered.
According to an Air Force official, the C-295 medium transport aircraft will be manufactured in India by Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) and European firm Airbus Defense and Space.
Recently, Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone of the C-295 Transport Aircraft Plant in Vadodara, Gujarat.
The country’s first military transport aircraft will be manufactured in Gujarat.
The C-295 has a maximum speed of 480 kmph and can transport up to nine tonnes of payload or 71 troops (or 45 paratroopers).
It can also fly from short or unprepared airstrips, has a rear ramp for para-dropping soldiers and cargo, and will help the IAF improve its logistics capabilities.
The consensus is being made on C-295.
An Air Force official said on the condition of anonymity that this move of the Air Force is also being seen as a replacement for the Avro-748 aircraft included in the transport fleet in 1960.
At the same time, officials also say that instead of AN-32, a consensus is being made on C-295 aircraft.
Air force operating 90 AN-32
The Indian Air Force currently operates 90 AN-32 aircraft. These aircraft play an essential role in helping the troops deployed in many parts of the country, including Ladakh and the Northeast
Another Air Force official, on the condition of anonymity, said that the C-295 aircraft can fulfill the roles of the AN-32 and could prove to be a better replacement.
India’s share will be 96 percent.
Supply will be from 2026 to 31
According to the Defense Ministry, the aircraft made in India will be delivered between 2026 and 2031. At the same time, the first 16 aircraft will arrive between 2023 and 2025.
After the deal is completed, the Indian Air Force will become the largest operator of the C-295 transport aircraft.