New Delhi: India’s first C-295 transport aircraft has taken off from Seville airfield in Spain. The aircraft, flown by IAF Group Captain PS Negi, will have stopovers at Malta, Egypt and Bahrain before landing at Vadodara Air Base.
The formal induction ceremony of the aircraft will be held at the Hindon airbase later this month.
Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari spoke to media on taking delivery of the first C-295 transport aircraft, calling it a “momentous day.”
“It is a momentous day for us, for the IAF in particular and a nation as a whole to be receiving the first aircraft which marks the beginning of a new era, wherein we will be manufacturing 40 of these aircraft in India. This starts a new era where we will be manufacturing military aircraft in India…” he told the media in Spain.
visuals of the aircraft taking off from Spain were shared on social media.
The aircraft is being delivered to India as part of the 2021 deal that the nation signed for 56 such aircrafts. The deal is pegged at Rs 21, 935 crores.
Of the 56 aircrafts, 16 will be manufactured in Spain. The rest will be made in Vadodara as a joint venture between Tata and Airbus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Vadodara manufacturing facility in October last year. It will be the first military aircraft to be manufactured in the nation by a private consortium.
The aircraft, with a capacity of 5-10 tonnes, can carry up to 71 personnel or 45 paratroopers. With a maximum speed of 480kmph, the aircraft also has a rear ramp door which will help in quick para-dropping of troops and cargo.