With the first C-295 military transport aircraft flying into India from an Airbus defence facility in Spain in mid-September, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is getting its act together and has designated the Prayagraj-based 24 Equipment Depot as the central stock holding depot for supporting the operations of the upcoming fleet of aircraft.

As per a deal signed between the Airbus Defence and Space and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) in 2021 for acquisition of 56 C-295s to replace British era Hawker Siddeley HS 748, 16 will come from Spain and the remaining 40 will be manufactured at Vadodra in Gujarat.

Exclusive warehousing facilities for housing C-295 assemblies and parts was inaugurated at 24 Equipment Depot Manauri on Monday by Air Comde Angshuk Pal, Air Officer Commanding in the presence of functionaries of the Depot and and representatives of Airbus Defence And Space, said an IAF PRO.

The ceremony also commenced the initiation of joint receipt inspection of deliverables which will continue for a month, added the PRO. The C-295 fleet will be spread across ten bases and its main constituent assembly (MCA), which is based in Hyderabad and run by TASL, will roll out work this week to supply assemblies to final assembly line (FAL) at Vadodara.

The first Make in India C-295 will emerge out of the FAL Vadodara in 2026, which is after all the 16 aircrafts are inducted into the IAF from Spain. The Airbus Defence and Space is transferring the entire technology of C-295 to TASL but for components it sources from others like engine and avionics.