The first C-295 for India has successfully completed its maiden flight, marking a significant milestone towards its delivery by the second half of 2023, according to Airbus. On the first flight, the aircraft took off from Seville in Spain and landed after three hours of flight on 5 May.
“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 C-295 in the world, this programme exemplifies our commitment to improving the Indian Air Force (IAF) operational capabilities,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Military Air Systems at Airbus Defence and Space.
India will acquire 56 C295 aircraft, announced in September 2021, to replace the IAF’s legacy AVRO fleet. The first 16 aircraft will be assembled in Seville, Spain and delivered in ‘fly-away’ condition. The following 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.
The C-295 Final Assembly Line, built in Gujarat, is the private sector’s first concrete, large-scale Make-in-India defence programme to unlock the industrial value chain of design, manufacturing, assembly, testing, delivery, and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft. The first ‘made-in-India’ C-295 will be rolled out in 2026, and the entire order is slated to be completed by 2031 at the rate of eight aircraft per year.
According to the official statement, “This programme will significantly contribute towards developing the indigenous capabilities of Indian companies for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.