IAF order of Airbus C-295 - Step Towards Modernization

IAF which is trying to replace its old fleet of aircraft with modernized  aircraft is trying to fill the gaps be it fighter aircraft or transport aircraft.

One such step in this modernization is order of Airbus C-295W jet. IAF has wanted to replace its fleet of 59 AVRO aircraft/Hawker Siddeley HS 748 transport aircraft.

Hawker Siddeley HS 748/AVRO AIRCRAFT

These AVRO aircraft have been in service within IAF for decades and IAF for years have been wanting to replace these with a more modern platform and few years back Airbus CASA C-295W.

The Airbus C-295W platform is not just  a replacement but also a serious upgrade when it comes to capabilities, the jet has more payload capacity and more range compared to old AVRO/Hawker Siddeley HS 748 transport aircraft.

IAF has ordered 56 of these new Airbus C-295W aircraft out  of  which 16  will be supplied  by Airbus in flyaway condition and rest  40 will  be Made In India by TATA Advanced systems.Apart from these 56 aircraft for IAF,BSF also wants to buy 4 C-295W aircraft.

The order in future is expected to swell. 


  1. Well, although C295 is a sympathetic 10t cargo, now there are serious tie-building with Dassault and so their Bréguet heritage, there could have been something really great to do and under a Make-in-India concept : resurrecting the (too in advance for its time) Bréguet 941.
    At this time, it could carry a 8t payload while taking off in 185m and landing over 120m with 4x1500HP engines. With modern materials and engines, payload could surely be increased to 12t with extended range and speed, one may even consider having only 2 wingpods with 2 engines and contrarotative propellers and 1 exhaust on two funnelled to blow on the outerwing flap, so keeping what is greatly part of the STOL capabilities. Doing things this way would allow an optional folding wing for carrier use. The only thing capable to take off from so short is the ill-fated V-22 Osprey and for a tremendous price. I think that in the 60's, although Bréguet and even MDD that proposed to license-build these in the US, both governments and airlines missed the great interest it should have gotten. French govt bought just a few that were limited to the very small use of SOFs in these times while there were tremendous civilian and military potentials for this era and creating a 941 Mk.2 would still simply great nowadays as much for access to remote areas as to create carrier-based AEW/ASM/ASUW platforms or even S&R, BTW, rebooting the 'Skyhook' (Fulton surface-to-air recovery system AKA F-STARS) would be a good idea. There may be potential for ELINT/SIGINT/COMINT, EW, Gunship, tactical refuelling, JSTARS/SLAR etc, all this could be carrier-based even from LHDs while, if IAI proposes some of these mods for C295, no way it'll operate from such small terrains. Note that the C295AEW&C has only an AESA radar. L-band is necessary to detect stealth aircraft.

    1. C 295 is good enough to replace AVRO. yes we need to find better options to replace other fighters and make bigger payload capable transport carriers, MTA would have given us a better thing and we hope India joins MTA again some time later in future if Russia doesn't show reluctance and when Russia brings the IAF desired FADEC engine.

      Also we won't be using C 295 AEW&C aircraft. This one is purely for transportation.

      Waiting for the amphibious capable jet HAL is developing

  2. For Il-214 MTA, IMHO, it's was the same pattern as for FGFA or the Brazilian Gripen-E : having another country pay for R&D. Nevertheless, MTA/Il-214, if you except the ability to fly faster as it's a jet, is not really more interesting than a C-130 : same payload, same landing roll. I even consider it was an error for India to buy both C-130 and the now discontinued C-17. A-400M is more interesting than both, BTW, it has already killed C-17 and now the sales of C-130J are beginning to take serious hits. It's a much more balanced solution, BTW, A400M has taken 12t to make it available also for civilian market. Scrap such an equipment useless for a pure military use and price is likely to be much more affordable and payload rises to 49t.

    Is this project the HAL amphibious plane you told about?
    Or is it the fitting the Do-228 with pontoons or the talks about license-building Shin-Meiwa US-2?
    Take note of this : Beriev Be-200 was dev'd during the Soviet era with their MIC soaking 25% of GDP while Shin-Meiwa (FKA Nakamichi) US-2 is nothing else than an upgraded US-1/PS-1 coming straight from a WW2 Nakamichi project. Be aware that only 10 Be-200 and 4 US-2 have been built. Unless some foreign orders are added, Russia won't have more than 22 Be-200, Azerbaijan maybe a 2nd and Japan is unlikely to buy more than 3 other US-2. At best, India may consider a dozen aircraft which makes a R&D that, if I consider the requirements, will surely of a crazy cost and do not hope any economy of scale, probably without reaching the goals exposed or if they are met, the cost per unit would be extremely high, even if a hundred ended build. Let me be frank : it's a totally stupid project!

    Now look at these videos, this is the Breguet 941S. You will LOVE it! Even today, it's not equalled. Actually, I really ask myself why no

    one revives this concept in a modern way :
    I think you missed my point : as it's 1961 technology and if +50y ago, it could already carry 8t while Take-off/landing was 185/120m (!!!) and could fly at only 50kts, modern materials and engines would allow even an even lighter empty weight than a C-295, very likely about the half of the original Br.941 while MTOW could even increase to a 27t (which is, if I'm not wrong, the maximum you can airdrop with a parachute and, as I consider a BRS onboard as a safety measure), allowing a 12t payload with 8t kerosene as you can now have a P&W PT6 188kg/1692HP while the 1961 Turbomeca was 335kg/1450HP and longer wings+winglets could add to range so it could absolutely be on par with a C-295 except you need 670m to have a MTOW C-295 airborne. A modern version could have digital regulation of propellers instead of having them all connected to a gearbox although such system is pretty secure in case of engine failure.

    1. You really missed the point where I considered Br.941S for AEW, for sure C-295 can do such missions but isn't really interesting for India as you have Be-50 and ERJ-145 AEWCS but consider INS Vikramaditya, could these 3 planes take-off from her deck? Even E-2D Hawkeye couldn't (and BTW, only E-2D has an anti-stealth radar). You may say that there is Kh-31, well, no! It's radar is less powerful than the one on a F-16, it hasn't even the range of AIM-120D. If one considers that such an aircraft being more powerful than a C-295 and having clearly more payload than a C-2/E-2, IAI EL/W-2085, etc. Note also that Northrop-Grumann s already trying to sell 6 E-2D to India for the future CATOBAR ship(s). Br-941S-NG could so carry much more powerful antennas added with some multiple VERY powerful EO/IRSTs with telescope effect, the kind you detect a lighter from 700km (this would be much more efficient for stealth targets) while there'd be enough payload left to have i.e. 6-8 Meteors under the wings without problems...
      Now, such a plane could also be considered for ASM, SAR, etc etc etc, but, aso, take a look on Youtube at TO/L at Lukla airport or in "Worst place to be a pilot" series. Such an aircraft would go to ALL these places with merely no risks, actually, as you can stay in the air as slow as 90km/h, if moreover a BRS-chute is added, according you have 4 engines, it may just become one of the most secure aircraft on market. Even Do-228 isn't as STOL!

      You pointed about some seaplane project, well, do you know about such inflatable pontoons? :
      A SAR version could surely cary also 2-3 unsinkable lifeboats and operate a F-STARS to bring people onboard without (water)landing :
      Such system is very spectacular but it's even more secure than being recovered by a chopper-hoist!
      I know, I'm horrible : I think about everything, even the fact that... All patents on are void for a while!

      Nevertheless, considering IAF/INAA inventory, a Br.941S-NG could replace An-32, Do-228, C-295, HS-748, ERJ-145 AEWCS, Gulfstream III-IV SRA-4, Turbine-Islander, Kamov Ka-31 and carrier-operated Ka-28/Sea-King for ASM and even, although some limits may have to be considered, even P-8I, Be-50 or serve as a tactical refueller.

    2. Yes drdo/HAL is making a seaplane indigenously and it will be based on Do 228 and is larger, u know the issues which will be involved with it and as far as that is going I don't think we will buy US-2 from Japan which I think we should if we r buying small number of aircraft ( esp after Japan giving us special discount as they consider it a diplomatic move).
      Also govt would have never pushed HAL if it was not profitable as it's not IAF or IN only which needs that amphibious aircraft but also it will be used by IA and ICG. The plane may be used as a transport aircraft by all Indian forces and may also be deployed for operations like firefighting or may be used as air refueling tankers.

      Yes A400 would be better and would have been better than c130 as it can carry more load compared to it but I don't know about c17 as it is something very different. Also IAF wanted the capabilities to land at rough and unprepared land patches and idk if A400 was capable of that (if it was, buy it)

      What I personally feel is India needs to start it's own heavy transportation aircraft projects too now as u know buying small numbers may seem like yeah it's cheaper than spending billions on R&D but on longer term we know India wants to be a global power and not just regional and so we will need the capabilities to project our troops and send them around globe on short notice and THIS CANT BE DONE WITH JUST 50-60 AIRCRAFT. IAF,IA,IN all need a large number of jets together and if a good jet is made we can be self reliant, ( China copied c 17 and tried to make a rival of c 130).

    3. Also yes the inflatable pontoons added to a plane will surely help it but that is not really amphibious in true sense,also u must be knowing about what happens when such system fails ( and it happens, failure also consists of late inflation of 1 pontoon compared to another). Also landing on water with that pontoon inflation is ok but same poses a challenge in takeoff by extra drag and causes several issues that's why that pontoon idea was used as experiment but still could not beat a true amphibious aircraft.

  3. I really hope some at Indian DoD are reading me, I think my ideas are much more interesting as a Br.941s-reissue would be much much more useful
    Inflatable pontoons is a possibility to make the seaplane capability pretty light, it could also be an interesting safety for navy/carrier planes while a rigid pontoon system could also be fit as an add on. STOL capabilities could also be improved by a system of rockets that was tested on XFC-130H Credible Sport (the wreck you'll see on video was due to some DoD brass insisting on having the pilots using the retro-rockets manually! The shouldn't had been fired before the plane touched the ground). With such optional add on, you end as STOL as a V-22.
    In refueller mode, it'd allow 20t of fuel onboard and 12t payload allows more than a Beriev or Canadair CL-414 for firefighting while we could end with a folding wing carrier version that could do both serious AEW and very nice refueller at the same time, so being able to help carrier-borne aircraft becoming low on fuel while a full wing is deck-landing as much as the AEW could carry R-37M or Meteors and so also being able to intercept threats to the fleet. Osprey payload is also inferior while as a refueller, it'll carry only 5.5t kerosene. As Bréguet merged with Dassault, it'd be easy to resurrect the project.
    I don't think that Airbus AKA Dornier+Casa too would be happy with it, same for Leonardo with their C-27J, ATR (Airbus+Leonardo) but it'd also compete Twin-Otters, Dash-7, Cessna Caravan, Fokker F-27, Northrop-Grumann's Hawkeye/Greyhound, Boeing's Osprey, even CL-414/415 in firefighting while payload would even allow serious long range armed MarPat with additional internal tanks.
    Do-228 will get two external rigid pontoons. Such thing could also be done as an external kit for Br.941. An optonal rocket kit could also be available, just think about XFC-130H Credible Sport! The baby could so become as STOL as V-22. Just the take-off rockets would even make some inflating-issue water induced drag ridiculous, not counting the already tremendous capability to stay airborne+manoeuvring at only 90km/h. Pretty nothing to invent or invest in R&D : the concept already worked 55 years ago, modern materials are much lighter/stronger, even engines would help with about 4x1750HP for 4x188kg with modern ones instead of 4x1450HP for 4x335kg=> +1200HP, - 588kg. Digital control of propeller speed is much easier nowadays, as even having gearboxes linking all engines or having them linked in pairs to improve safety. The original being 100% mechanical, electronics and computers would make the new much easier to build. The inflattable pontoons on the Bartini-Beriev VVA-14 were as much an issue as the rigid ones and not only due to drag : VVA-14 was created to be STOLV but never received its lift engines! Thus, it could take off from a hard runway but was unable to take off from water, no matter the type of pontoons : it was simply underpowered.

    1. Don't be surprised if I so badly hope some decision-maker in India to read about Br.941S: there is a wonderful potential, nonetheless to field one of the most useful aircraft ever built but to reinforce our strategic partnership through such a program.
      Didn't you noticed how EU seems to be very positive about India having a permanent seat at UNSC and how France is willing to build a serious long term strategic partnership. 1st, India's the biggest democracy on Earth, 2nd, you are really capable of a serious global role and although seemingly acting on US side, EU has pretty enough of US toxic foreign politics and considers China is cooking the same kind of damaging shit thus, counter-balancing this through non aligned-countries is highly wishable, as much as, and it'd be also wishable, making NATO a pure EU thing and having Russia joining the EU. Having Brazil following as a permanent UNSC member in a not too far future is also wishable, so would be UK being dropped after some Scotland+Ulster independence, anyway, UK is nothing else than US 52nd state, they don't need 2 seats. I think we're many considering a more balanced multi-polar world is a much more healthy way to go so empowering countries like India or Brazil while weakening USA and avoiding China to go the same way are the things to do.

      A400M can carry 37t load while C-130J can carry 20t but if you scrap the dual civilian/military capability from A400M that is made to comply with EU strict civilian rules, you gain 12t payload. 49t payload while using the same kind of rough terrain C-130 can operate becomes pretty serious. By loading 1t less fuel, it may even transport some Russian 50t MBT. Export C-130J cost is $120M, A400M=€145M but surely less if the 12t civilian gear is not onboard.
      C-17 cost is $252M for a 77t payload but you need a 2300m runway to take-ff MTOW. Well, C-17 is likely to operate from rough terrain but due to weight etc, except for some test with lesser payload, I've NEVER heard about any C-17 being used in such a way. Another serious drawback is that spare parts production ends in 2017. It'll soon be necessary to scavenge some C-17 to maintain the fleet and/or copy parts.
      A400M has been conceived to really go everywhere C-130 can, including rough terrain. It was even what made its development so long with some overcosts and issues : having such a serious load operated from pretty small 1150m dirt/grass strips nearly made Airbus renouncing to operate in the military aircraft business.

      Now, dig it : EU countries and even Russia prefer simply to borrow heavy cargo aircraft from civilian companies when they need heavy strategic lift. A fleet of heavy cargos is only useful when you're USA and have a VERY aggressive foreign politic and your economy is seriously based on war. Having serious heavy lifters in numbers in IAF would really cost big while they'll be useless most of the time. Actually, EU is going for A330-MRTT as it'll mostly be used as a refueller but is convertible easily to passenger/heavy cargo lift and it seems that AWACS features are likely to be added soon, especially as E-3 Sentry are getting old and the 'sentinel' job is likely to be transferred from NATO to EU and the use of Airbus instead of Boeings, we're already building a German-French wing of A330-MRTT for refuelling purposes and we can expect that AWACS features will be added as soon E-3 begins to be retired.

    2. Xian Y-20 is smaller/lighter than C-17. Now, I agree, it really looks C-17-like. Thus, only 8 have been built but seems that China ordered a thousand (!) and this is a very grim sign about their intentions : the capability to airlift 100k paratroopers at once is seriously unhealthy.
      I don't think they're considering to go after India, USA or Russia, all being nuclear powers but invading Mongolia, maybe some other central-Asia countries and also African countries would become pretty easy, especially with several aircraft carriers for gunboat policy purposes. Antonov Ukraine is now finishing the 2nd An-225, this one will go to China. Shaanxi Y-9 is actually a stretched An-12 more than a C-130 copy and has biggest (25t) payload. With Ukraine spiralling down economy since the Poroshenko/Soros/US-DoS coup, I wouldn't be too surprised if the Chinese ended buying Antonov which production has shrank to zero aircraft in 2016 since Russia stopped to buy anything from Ukraine. They'd likely begin so serie-produce An-70 as a competitor to A400M thus, although they may be more expensive to buy, I think that if all civilian companies buy either from Airbus or Boeing (even Iran want to do so!), although these are more expensive, there are good reasons : they are much cheaper to operate while they comply with air traffic and even the most drastic security regulations everywhere.


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