The first Airbus C295 tactical transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force has completed its maiden flight. The three-hour test flight took place on May 5, 2023, at Airbus’ facility in Seville, Spain.
India ordered 56 C295 aircraft in September 2021. The first 16 C-295s should be assembled and delivered by Airbus, while the remaining 46 aircraft will be assembled locally under license at a Tata Advanced Systems factory near Bangalore.
“This first flight represents a significant accomplishment for the first Make in India aerospace programme,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Military Air Systems at Airbus Defence and Space. “With the Indian Air Force set to become the largest operator of the C295 in the world, this programme exemplifies our commitment to improve the Indian Air Force operational capabilities.”
Featuring a cabin that is 12.7 meters (41 feet) long, the C295 is capable of transporting up to 71 combatants, 48 equipped paratroopers, 24 stretchers, or five pallets. It is designed to operate from short and unprepared airstrips, with a minimum length requirement of only 670 meters (2,200 feet).
The 56 C295 will replace the fleet of 57 Hawker Siddeley HS 748 which first entered service within the IAF in the 1960s.