HYDERABAD- India is actively engaged in negotiations with Airbus (EPA: AIR) to establish a maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) hub for the C-295. Several countries, including the UAE, the Philippines, and Thailand, currently utilize the aircraft.
India-Airbus Talks for C295 MRO, Manufacturing and Orders
The first batch of six pilots has successfully completed their training in Spain, while the initial group of IAF aircraft engineers is currently undergoing training to perform maintenance tasks on the C-295 fleet stationed at 10 operational bases.
The IAF has entered into a five-year Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) agreement with Airbus, binding the company to maintain an 85 percent operational readiness for the fleet at any given time.
This ensures that 85 percent of the fleet is operationally ready and not waiting for servicing or spare parts.
While the IAF has already ordered 56 C-295 aircraft capable of carrying cargo up to 9 tonnes, Airbus and TATA are in talks with the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard for the potential procurement of up to 15 additional aircraft. Subsequently, nine of these are planned for maritime surveillance deployment.
Reports suggest that the Border Security Force (BSF), which also operates Avros, is exploring the option of procuring C-295 aircraft. Additionally, another security agency is considering the use of the aircraft for technical surveillance purposes.
The TATA Group may also explore marketing opportunities for the C-295 aircraft to other countries.
Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Military Air Systems at Airbus, expressed confidence in the future growth of the C-295 program.
He mentioned the production of 56 aircraft, with 40 to be manufactured in India. Dumont indicated potential regional opportunities for aircraft service from India.
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