On October 30, 2022, the Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of C-295 Transport Aircraft Manufacturing Facility in Vadodara, Gujarat which will be set up by India’s Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) and Spain’s Airbus Defence and Space.
- This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft (C-295) will be manufactured in India under technology transfer by the private sector. This aircraft can be used for civilian purposes as well.
- It is also the first time that the C-295 aircraft will be manufactured outside of Europe.
- The C-295 will replace IAF’s Avro-748 planes aircraft in service.
- With this, India will become the 35th C295 operator worldwide.
Features of C-295:
i.With a capacity of 5-10 tonne, it is used for tactical transport of up to 71 passengers or 50 paratroopers, and for logistic operations to locations that are not accessible to current heavier aircraft.
ii.It can attain a maximum speed of 480 kmph.
iii.It can operate from Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) and even unprepared runways.
iv.It has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para-dropping of troops and cargo.
v.With a flight endurance of up to 11 hours, can carry out multi-role operations including disaster response and maritime patrol duties under all weather conditions.
vi.C295 has 38 operators in 34 different countries and has achieved more than 5,00,000 flight hours.
i.Of the 56 aircraft contracted, 16 will come in fly-away condition between September 2023 and August 2025. The remaining 40 will be manufactured by the TASL in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.
- The first Made-in-India aircraft will be rolled out in September 2026, and the remaining 39 will be completed by 2031 at the rate of eight aircraft per year.
ii.All 56 aircraft will be fitted with an indigenous Electronic Warfare suite to be developed by the Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
iii.The manufacturing of over 13,400 detail parts, 4,600 sub-assemblies and all the seven major component assemblies of the aircraft will be undertaken at the manufacturing unit in Vadodara.
iv.The indigenous content in the planes will be the highest ever in India.
v.This project is expected to generate 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3,000 indirect jobs , 3,000 medium skill employment opportunities with more than 42.5 lakh man hours of work. Nearly 240 engineers will be trained at the Airbus facility in Spain.
- TASL has identified more than 125 MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) suppliers in seven Indian states.
vi.It should be noted that after the delivery of 56 C-295 to IAF, the Airbus Defence and Space can sell the aircraft manufactured in India to civil operators and export to countries which are cleared by the Government of India (GoI).
The IAF has 56 Avro transport aircraft procured in the 1960s and are in urgent need of replacement, following which, in 2013, the Request For Proposal (RFP) was issued to global firms. Then in 2015, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a Rs 21,935 crore deal with Airbus Defence and Space, Spain for the procurement of 56 C-295MW aircraft.
The foundation stone laying event was attended by the Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat; Union Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Minister of Civil Aviation Shri; Union minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defence; Gujarat Chief Minister (CM) Bhupendrabhai Patel; Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan; Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari; among others.
PM dedicates Maze Garden and Miyawaki Forest in Ekta Nagar, Gujarat
The PM also dedicated Maze (labyrinth) Garden and Miyawaki Forest in Ekta Nagar (formerly Kevadia), Gujarat near the 182-meter high Statue of Unity. He also inaugurated the OYO Ekta Houseboat, Gujarat’s first houseboat service.
i.This is the largest maze garden in India. It has been built in the shape of ‘Yantra’ that emanates positive energy.
ii.It spread across three acres with a pathway of 2,100 metres.
iii.Around 1,80,000 saplings have been planted near this Maze Garden which includes Orange Gemini, Madhu Kamini, Glory Bowar and Mehndi.
i.It is named after the technique developed by a Japanese botanist and ecologist Dr Akira Miyawaki to plant saplings of various species that are planted close to each other which develops into a dense urban forest.
ii.The growth of plants is ten times faster using this method resulting in the forest developed is thirty times denser, and can be developed in just two to three years as compared to at least 20 to 30 years through the traditional method.
iii.It includes the divisions of a native Floral Garden, a Timber Garden, a Fruit Garden, a Medicinal Garden, a Miyawaki section of mixed species and a Digital Orientation Centre.
OYO Ekta Houseboat:
The houseboat is 90 feet long and 20 feet wide with two well-appointed bedrooms, one dining room, one drawing room, one kitchen, a front deck and an upper observation deck.
Points to be noted:
i.India has set a target of exceeding $25 billion in defence manufacturing by 2025.
ii.Other major tourist destinations at Statue of Unity include Tent City; Theme based Parks such as Arogya Van (Herbal Garden), Butterfly Garden, Cactus Garden, Vishwa Van, The Valley of Flowers (Bharat Van), Unity glow garden, Children Nutrition Park, Jungle Safari (state-of-art zoological park) among others.
About Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL):
It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, and strategic Aerospace and Defence arm of the TATA Group.
Chairman– Vijay Singh
CEO & Managing Director– Sukaran Singh
Headquarters– Hyderabad, Telangana