New Delhi, Sep 24 (PTI) The Defence Ministry on Friday inked a nearly Rs 20,000 crore contract with Airbus Defence and Space of Spain to procure 56 C-295 medium transport aircraft which will replace Avro-748 planes of the Indian Air Force.

The long-pending procurement was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security two weeks back.

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"Contract signed between #MinistryOfDefence and @AirbusDefence &Space, Spain for procurement of 56 C-295 transport aircraft for the #IAF," Defence Ministry Spokesperson A Bharat Bhushan Babu tweeted.

Under the deal, 16 aircraft will be delivered in a flyaway condition by the Airbus Defence and Space within 48 months of signing the contract.

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The remaining 40 planes will be manufactured in India by a consortium of the Airbus Defence and Space and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) within 10 years of signing the contract, officials said.

The C-295 MW aircraft is a transport plane of 5-10 tonne capacity.

This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company.

"All 56 aircraft will be installed with indigenous electronic warfare suite," the ministry had said on September 8 after the procurement was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security.

The in-principle approval for the Avro replacement programme was accorded around nine years back.

A large number of detail parts, sub-assemblies and major component assemblies of aerostructure are scheduled to be manufactured in India.

The ministry had said that before completion of the deliveries, a servicing facility for C-295 MW aircraft is scheduled to be set up in India.PTI MPB

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