The Indian government formalized the order of fifty-six C295W tactical transport aircraft from Airbus Defense & Space. The contract was a long time coming, as it was initially outlined back in 2015. At list prices, the deal is valued at $2.5 billion.
The European medium military transport aircraft will replace the Indian Air Force’s aging Avro 748M fleet, which entered service within the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the 1960s. Under the current contract, 16 C-295s should be imported, while the remaining 46 aircraft will be assembled locally under license at a factory near Bangalore owned by the Tata group. The first IAF C-295W should enter service by 2024. The Indian Air Force will become the world’s largest user of the aircraft, ahead of Brazil, Canada, and Spain, where the aircraft is produced.
As part of a different contract, the Indian Coast Guard already ordered six copies equipped for tactical transport and offshore search and rescue missions. Their delivery should take place between 2021 and 2024.
With cabin dimensions of 12.7 meters (41 feet) in length, the C295 can transport 71 combatants, 48 equipped paratroopers, 24 stretchers, or 5 pallets. It can operate from short (no longer than 670 meters/2,200 feet) and unprepared airstrips.
The C295W version equipped with winglets is capable of transporting more payload over larger distances in hot and high conditions and increased safety margins in mountainous regions.