New Delhi, Sep 25 (Agency) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh formally inducted the first C-295 medium tactical transport aircraft into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday. Rajnath inducted the transport aircraft into the IAF in the presence of Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and other top military officials at Air Force Station, Hindan in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Through a post on X (formerly Twitter), the Raksha Mantri said that the induction of C-295 will bolster medium lift tactical capability of the IAF. “The defence and aerospace sectors are the two important pillars for making India self-reliant in the coming years” he added. This medium lift tactical aircraft, which is capable of taking off and landing from unprepared landing grounds, will replace the HS-748 Avro aircraft.
The Defence Ministry said the first 16 of the 56 contracted aircraft will be delivered to the IAF in a ‘fly-away’ condition, the remaining 40 would be manufactured in India by Tata Advanced Systems Limited at their facility in Vadodara. The first IAF squadron to be equipped with the aircraft, 11 Squadron (The Rhinos), is also based at Vadodara. During the event, the Defence Minister also inaugurated, “Bharat Drone Shakti 202”, a first-of-its-kind drone exhibition cum display at the Air Force Station. The exhibition has been jointly organised by Indian Air Force (IAF) and Drone Federation of India (DFI). As per the Defence Ministry, the two-day event will feature over 75 drone start-ups from across the country.