New Delhi: The Indian Coast Guard and the Navy are looking forward to acquire 15 C-295 transport aircraft that are being manufactured in India in a joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems and Airbus. The proposals for the acquisition of these 15 aircraft – nine planes would be procured by the Navy and six would be taken by the Indian Coast Guard are at an advanced stage in the defence ministry.
The C-295 transport aircraft would be equipped with the required radars and sensors and turned into a maritime patrol plane by the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), according to defence officials.
Indian Coast Guard Chief Director General Rakesh Pal, speaking about his force’s projects, told a leading news agency, “There are plans for acquiring long-range maritime surveillance aircraft, which the Air Force has taken, and the contracts will be signed with TASL (Tata Advanced Systems Limited), wherein we are about to get six C295 transport aircraft.”
“The Ministry of Defence is giving us adequate funds to ensure that our acquisition processes are all fast-tracked,” he said. The Coast Guard chief informed that shortly his force was also set to sign contracts for nine more advanced-light helicopters, the ALH Dhruv manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
Recently, the first C-295 transport aircraft manufactured in Spain was inducted by the Indian Air Force. While the first 16 will come from Spain in fly-away condition, the remaining 40 will be produced in India at a Tata facility in Vadodara, Gujarat.
If approved by the government, the order from the Navy and Coast Guard will take the Tata Airbus order book to 71 from the existing 56. Some of the operators of the plane are using the C-295 transport aircraft in maritime patrol roles.