Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata on Friday hailed the finalisation of a contract by India to procure 56 C-295 transport aircraft under an Airbus-Tata project, describing it as a "great step" forward in the opening up of the aviation and avionics sector in the country.
His comments came hours after the deal to procure the aircraft to replace the Avro-748 planes of the IAF was sealed.
Under the agreement, Airbus will deliver the first 16 aircraft in ''fly-away'' condition from its final assembly line in Seville, Spain. The subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) in India as part of an industrial partnership between the two companies.
"The clearance of the joint project between Airbus Defence and Tata Advanced Systems to build the C-295 is a great step forward in the opening up of the aviation and avionics projects in India," Tata said in a statement.
"The C-295 is a multi-role aircraft with several configurations to meet mission requirements. It envisages total manufacturing of the aircraft in India," he said.
The chairman of Tata Trusts congratulated Airbus Defence, Tata Advanced Systems Limited and the Defence Ministry on the inking of the contract
"It will create a domestic supply chain capability to international standards, which has never been undertaken before. The Tata Group congratulates Airbus and the Indian Defence Ministry for this bold step in fully building this state-of-the-art multi-role aircraft in India in support of the Make-in-India thrust to bolster the country''s equity framework," Tata said.
The contract was signed two weeks after it was cleared by the prime minister-led Cabinet Committee on Security.
Airbus said the first 16 aircraft will be delivered over four years after the contract implementation and that all the planes will be equipped with an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite (EWS).
"This contract will support the further development of India''s aerospace ecosystem, bringing investment and 15,000 skilled direct jobs and 10,000 indirect positions over the coming 10 years," said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space.