Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) plan to procure Airbus C-295 Military Transport Aircraft has taken a step forward with the IAF having completed negotiations and discussions.
“Negotiations for the C-295 deal have been completed,” a senior defence official was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
In May 2015, India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared a proposal by Airbus Defence & Space and its Indian partner, the Tata Group, to procure C-295 military transport as a replacement for the IAF’s ageing Avro fleet consisting of 56 aircraft.
Under the present deal, 16 aircraft will be built by a foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and the remaining 40 will be built in the country by an Indian manufacturer under transfer of technology.
The IAF reportedly made changes to the current parameters. It will put forward a proposal before the DAC in June this year, after the Lok Sabha elections, for its approval.
“The deal needs clearance from the DAC as there is a change from earlier parameters. The next DAC meeting will be held in June. So we will push the deal at that time,” the official added.
This deal has become even more critical as a separate project to jointly co-develop and produce a Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) of 20 tonnes with Russia to replace the An-32s in service was scrapped after initial design discussions.
The An-32s which are the workhorse of the IAF are currently being upgraded under a $400 mn deal finalised with Antonov state corporation of Ukraine in 2009.
The other major IAF deals pending approval are the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for 114 fighter jets and the fresh proposal for six mid-air refuellers cancelled earlier.
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