Context - 

The Prime Minister of India has laid the groundwork for the C-295 transport aircraft production plant in Vadodara, which will be established by Airbus Defense and Space S.A., Spain, and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL).

  • This is the first time a private sector enterprise has built a whole airplane in the country.

What exactly is a C-295 MW transporter?

Towards:

  • The C-295 is a modern transport aircraft with 5-10 tonnes capacity.
  • It is a flexible and efficient tactical transport aircraft that can execute various tasks.

Features:

  • With a flying endurance of up to 11 hours, the aircraft can perform multi-role missions in all weather situations.
  • It can perform day and night combat sorties from the desert to the sea.
  • It includes a rear ramp entrance for fast response and paradrop of soldiers and goods. Another benefit is the ability to take off and land quickly from semi-prepared areas.

Replacement:

  • It will replace the Indian Air Force's aging Avro-748 aircraft.
  • The Avro-748 is a twin-engine turboprop, military transport, and freighter of British origin with a 6-tonne cargo capacity.

Execution of the Project:

  • Under the Make-in-India effort in the aerospace industry, TASL will collaborate on the project to equip the air force with new transport aircraft.
  • Airbus will provide the first 16 aircraft in flyaway condition between September 2023 and August 2025. The remaining 40 will be constructed in India by TASL at a rate of eight aircraft per year between September 2026 and 2031.

What is the importance of this manufacturing plant?

Employment Creation:

  • The TATA Consortium has discovered over 125 domestic MSME suppliers spanning seven states. This will serve as a stimulus for job creation in the country's aerospace economy.
  • It is planned to produce 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3000 indirect positions, and an additional 3000 medium-skill employment possibilities in India's aerospace and defense sector, with over 42.5 lakh person-hours of labor.

Boosting MSMEs:

  • The initiative will benefit India's aerospace ecosystem by involving various Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from around the country to produce airplane parts.

Reduce reliance on imports:

  • The initiative will boost local aircraft production, reducing import dependency and increasing exports.
  • India is set to manufacture many detail components, sub-assemblies, and key component assemblies for aerostructures.

 Development of Infrastructure:

  • It will entail the construction of specialized infrastructures such as hangars, buildings, aprons, and taxiways.
  • Prior to delivery, a 'D' Level service facility (MRO) for C-295MW aircraft is intended to be established in India.
  • This facility is planned to serve as a regional MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) center for several C-295 aircraft versions.

Obligations to offset:

  • Airbus will fulfill its offset responsibilities by directly purchasing qualifying items and services from Indian offset partners, stimulating the economy.
  • In its most basic form, an offset is a foreign player's commitment to improving India's local defense sector if India purchases defense equipment from it.

What is India's civil aviation sector's potential?

  • In addition to being a key market, India has a far larger footprint in civil aircraft manufacture than in defense. Airbus and Boeing in the United States get a major portion of their civil programs from India.
  • Boeing sources USD 1 billion from India each year, with manufacturing accounting for more than 60% of the total.
  • Every year, India purchases manufactured components and engineering services worth USD 650 million from more than 45 Indian vendors.
  • India, pursuing the credo of 'Make in India' and 'Make for the World,' is expanding its potential by becoming a significant maker of cargo planes.
  • Airbus has operated a 100% domestic-owned design center in India since 2007, with over 650 engineers specializing in high-tech aeronautical engineering and working across both fixed- and rotary-wing Airbus aircraft programs.
  • It is predicted that India will require around 2000 extra passenger and freight aircraft during the next 10-15 years.
  • Another rapidly expanding sector is MRO, with India poised to become a regional powerhouse.
  • MRO is any action that aids in preserving or restoring a functional item.

Source: TH