Indian Air Force is close to awarding a contract to Airbus Defense and Space and its Indian partner, Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) for up to 60 C295W military transport aircraft to replace its fleet of 56 Avros.
Negotiations for the $1.8 billion purchase of the C295W are in the final stages, officials indicated to an Indian publication, The Hindu BusinessLine.
The C295W is the latest variant of the C295 military transport aircraft, and is equipped with winglets to transport more payload over a longer distance, and more powerful engines, to deliver improved performance than its predecessor.
Following the completion of the field evaluation trials of the aircraft in India last year, several more “evaluatory steps and trials” have been undertaken by TASL and Airbus to fulfil the criteria under the defence procurement system.
Since the field evaluation trials were over, “it would help the companies’ bag further contracts with the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, paramilitary and other civilian agencies that have shown interest.” officials said.
Given that the C295 is available in several configurations, including Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) version and an Airborne Early Warning (AEW&C) version, a variant is expected to be offered for the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard.
About 70 to 90 aircraft are needed by the armed forces and paramilitary organisations such as the Border Security Force (BSF) and CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force).