The Defence Ministry’s measures, such as opening up defence production to the private sector and encouraging innovations and entrepreneurship in defence aerospace, will help India emerge as a net exporter of defence equipment and platforms, said Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh at the foundation-stone laying ceremony for the Tata-Airbus consortium’s C-295 transport aircraft facility in Vadodara on Sunday.
“I am confident that the efforts made by the Defence Ministry will not just fulfil the requirements of our armed forces but will also help India become a net exporter of defence equipment and platforms. The foundation stone laid for this project will become a milestone in India’s journey of Atmanirbharta (self-reliance) in defence production,” said Singh, addressing the ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Notably, the project has raised political tempers as other neighboring States such as Maharashtra couldn’t bag the landmark project.
Stating that the C-295 aircraft-made at the Vadodara facility-would be state-of-the-art military aircraft possessing superior capabilities and global standards. The modern transport aircraft will give an unprecedented boost to the logistical capabilities of the Indian Air Force, he stated.
The C-295 MW, has a 5–10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology. This will replace the existing IAF Avro aircraft.
All the aircraft will be fitted with the indigenous electronic warfare suite of public sector defence players, i.e., Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Ltd. The aircraft has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and paradropping of troops and cargo, and allows short take-off and landing from semi-prepared surfaces.
Over 100 MSMEs from seven States have been onboarded as the vendors for the project. The engines, landing gear, avionics, EW suite, etc. will be provided by Airbus Defence & Space and integrated into the aircraft by the TATA Consortium.
“Today is the beginning of a new journey of aircraft manufacturing by the private sector in India. The flight of the aircraft made here will not just be a flight of a platform, but it will be a flight of mutual cooperation in the defence sector and a flight of self-reliance in defence for us,” Singh said, adding that in the coming days, leading global powers in the defence sector will flourish on Gujarat’s soil.