The Centre is planning to acquire 15 additional C-295 military transport aircraft for the Navy and Coast Guard under the Rs 21,935 crore Tata-Airbus project. This is in addition to 56 twin-turboprop C-295 aircraft, which were originally planned to be delivered to India, as reported by the Times of India (TOI).
Out of 15, nine C-295s will be acquired for the Navy and six for Coast Guard. The TOI report added that they would be equipped with multi-mode radars, electro-optic cameras and sonobuoys.
Airbus Defence and Space in Spain will modify an initial couple of planes. The rest will be manufactured in the Tata-Airbus facility in Vadodara. On October 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for the facility.
The first “Made in India” C-295, which will be able to carry 71 soldiers, is expected to roll out in September 2026.
The report added that the 15 additional aircraft are likely to cost around Rs 18,000 crore. Defence minister Rajnath Singh-led Defence Acquisitions Council will take the acceptance of necessity (AoN) for the project soon.
“The 15 MRMR aircraft, which have a flight endurance of up to 11 hours, in turn, will be used for medium-range missions in the IOR along with the Dornier-228 fleet,” a source told TOI.
The primary area of strategic interest is the coastline from the Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait. It stretches to 5,422 km. Currently, the Navy has 12 P-BI aircraft for long-range reconnaissance.