Airbus which was single bidder in a 2013 Indian MoD RFP to sell medium military transport planes continues to be hopeful to bag the multi-million dollar contract.
“As part of the Avro replacement programme of the Ministry of Defence (India), Airbus will support Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) in setting-up a final assembly line for the C295W in India, once the contract is awarded.”, an Airbus statement said yesterday.
The company will use the Aero India 2017 show starting next week to showcase scale models of the C295W, an aircraft which has found buyers in several markets and sits below the Lockheed Martin C130 in terms of payload capacity.
Airbus has tied-up with Mahindra Defence to create India’s first private sector champion for manufacturing military helicopters which is proposed under the Naval Utility Helicopter programme, the statement added explaining its other pitches to the Indian MoD.
Meanwhile, local media reported last year that two foreign firms have written to the Defence Ministry expressing their interest to be part of the nearly $2.5 billion Avro replacement programme after the bidding process had been over and Airbus emerging as the single vendor.
Both the companies have offered to set up their respective platforms in India with local partners to meet the IAF requirement for the replacement of the ageing fleet of 56 Avro transport aircraft, the reports said.
Ukraine’s Antonov has shown interest in offering its AN-132 aircraft for the avro replacement. The AN-132 is a new aircraft and currently going through its certification process. The company has entered into a partnership with a Saudi Arabian company to manufacture the aircraft for the Saudi and Middle East market.