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Govt likely to seal deal on purchase of 56 C-295 military transport planes in next few days


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NEW DELHI (PTI):  The defence ministry is likely to finalise in the next few days the nearly Rs 20,000 crore Airbus-Tata deal to procure 56 C-295 medium transport aircraft to replace the Avro-748 planes of the Indian Air Force, people familiar with the development has said.

The long-pending procurement was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security two weeks ago.

Under the deal, 16 aircraft will be delivered in a flyaway condition by the Airbus Defence and Space of Spain within 48 months of the signing of the contract.

The remaining 40 planes will be manufactured in India by a consortium of the Airbus Defence and Space and the Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) within 10 years of the signing of the contract, officials said on Thursday.

The C-295MW aircraft is a transport plane of 5-10 tonne capacity.

This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company.

"All 56 aircraft will be installed with indigenous electronic warfare suite," the defence ministry had said on September 8 after the procurement was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security.

The in-principle approval for the Avro replacement programme was accorded around nine years ago.

A large number of detail parts, sub-assemblies and major component assemblies of aerostructure are scheduled to be manufactured in India.

The ministry had said that before the completion of the deliveries, a servicing facility for the C-295MW aircraft is scheduled to be set up in India.

"It is expected that this facility will act as a regional MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) hub for various variants of the C-295 aircraft," it had said.

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