Defense Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the first of its kind drone exhibition cum display “Bharat Drone Shakti 2023” at Air Force Station, Hindon, Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) on September 25, 2023.
This two-day ‘Bharat Drone Shakti 2023’ is being organized from 25 to 26 September, 2023 in which more than 75 drone start-ups from across the country are participating.
By whom is the event being organized?
- It is jointly organized by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Drone Federation of India (DFI).
- The drones displayed during this event can be deployed for use in various military and civilian sectors.
Target to make India a major drone hub by 2030:
C-295MW transport aircraft inducted into IAF:
- The first C-295MW transport aircraft was formally inducted into the IAF following the inauguration of Bharat Drone Shakti 2023.
- The ceremony included 'Sarva Dharma Pooja' and a brief briefing on the capabilities of the aircraft.
HS-748 Avro aircraft will be replaced by C-295MW:
- Capable of taking off and landing from unprepared landing grounds, this medium lift tactical aircraft will replace the HS-748 Avro aircraft.
- Of the total 56 contracted aircraft, the first 16 aircraft will be delivered to the Indian Air Force in fly-away condition, while the remaining 40 aircraft will be manufactured at Tata Advanced Systems Limited in Vadodara, India.
- The first IAF squadron equipped with this aircraft, 11 Squadron (The Rhinos), is also based in Vadodara.
- During the event, the Defense Minister and dignitaries were also briefed about the latest in-house innovations of the Indian Air Force at the exhibition.
- This included projects like hybrid drone detection system, AI engine for fault diagnosis, fly-by-wire tester, stable power supply trolley, QR code based tool crib management system and modern teaching aids.
- Air Chief Marshal (ACM) VR Choudhary received the first 'C-295MW' transport aircraft for the Air Force from the Airbus plant in Seville, Spain on 13 September 2023.
- It is noteworthy that the Cabinet Committee on Security had on September 08, 2021 approved the purchase of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from M/s Airbus Defense and Space S.A., Spain.
16 aircraft manufactured by Airbus:
- As per the contract, 16 aircraft will come to India in take-off condition from Seville, which will be manufactured by Spanish defense and space company Airbus. While the remaining 40 will be manufactured jointly by Airbus with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL).
- Work is underway to set up a Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Vadodara, Gujarat and the first India-made aircraft will be rolled out by September 2026.
- The C-295MW aircraft is equipped with the Indian Electronic Warfare Suite. The C-295 aircraft will replace the Indian Air Force's aging Avro-748 fleet.
Total deal worth ₹22,000 crore:
- In September 2021, the Defense Ministry signed a ₹22,000 crore deal with Airbus and Space SA, Spain, for the purchase of 56 C-295 MW transport aircraft.
All aircraft can be manufactured in India by August 2031:
- The first of the total 40 aircraft to be built in India will be delivered in the year 2026.
- Construction of the 56th and final aircraft is likely to be completed by August 2031.
- The C-295 MW is a 5 to 10 ton capacity transport aircraft with contemporary technology.
- Short take-off/landing from semi-prepared surfaces is another feature.
- This aircraft will strengthen the logistics capabilities of the Indian Air Force.
- It has a rear ramp door for quick response and para dropping of troops and cargo.