Ghaziabad: The first C-295 medium tactical transport aircraft was inducted into the Indian Air Force on Monday, boosting its logistics capabilities.
The induction ceremony took place at the Hindan Air Force Station here in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
IAF chief Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari along with senior officials of the IAF as well as of Airbus attended the induction ceremony.
The C-295s will boost the air force’s logistics capabilities to meet mission requirements in forward areas, including those near the contested border with China, and replace its ageing fleet of Avro transport aircraft that entered service in the early 1960s.
The aircraft arrived at the Vadodara air base in Gujarat on September 20, a week after Airbus Defence and Space handed over the plane to IAF at Seville in Spain.
Chaudhari took the delivery of the plane, part of a Rs.21,935 crore ‘Make in India’ project to upgrade the IAF’s transport fleet, at a ceremony held at Airbus’ San Pablo site in Seville on September 13.
The aircraft is expected to be the centrepiece of the upcoming Air Force Day parade at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh on October 8, and the IAF will raise its first C-295 squadron at Vadodara.
The C-295 was inducted two years after the defence ministry signed a contract with Airbus for 56 planes to boost self-reliance in defence. Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Airbus are jointly executing the programme. The European plane maker will deliver 16 planes in flyaway condition, while the rest will be assembled in India at the Tata facility in Vadodara.
The last of the 16 flyaway aircraft will be delivered to IAF by August 2025, while the first “made in India” C-295 will roll out of the Vadodara facility in September 2026 and the remaining 39 by August 2031.