IAF launches hunt for new medium transport aircraft to replace old AN-32s | India News


NEW DELHI: The IAF has now launched the hunt for new medium transport aircraft (MTA) to replace its old Soviet-origin AN-32 fleet, in a move which comes even as the mega Rs 21,935 crore Tata-Airbus project to supply 56 C-295 tactical airlifters has kicked off.
The MTA, which will be manufactured in India with foreign collaboration, would be used for carrying cargo between 18 to 30 tonnes, says the RFI (request for information) issued by the IAF. The vendors have to submit their responses by March 31.
The C-295, in turn, can carry up to 9-tonne of payload or 71 soldiers, and will replace the old Avro fleet in the IAF. While the first 16 C-295s are to be delivered in a flyaway condition by Airbus in the 2023-2025 timeframe, the remaining 40 will be produced at the new Tata-Airbus facility at Vadodara in Gujarat.
The IAF currently has over 90 AN-32 medium-lift aircraft, inducted from the erstwhile Soviet Union between 1984 and 1991, which have undergone some upgrade with help from Ukraine.
“The AN-32 aircraft are extensively used to service forward areas as well as operate from advanced landing grounds (ALGs) in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. But they will have to be phased out, beginning from 2030 onwards,” an officer said.
In the RFI for the MTA, the IAF asked the vendors to provide details about setting-up a dedicated manufacturing line in India, including design, integration and manufacturing processes, either through their own subsidiaries or in joint ventures. The vendors should also consider making India a regional or global hub for manufacturing as well as MRO (maintenance, repair & overhaul) of the aircraft, it said.


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