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India Government Clears Deal for 56 Airbus Transport Planes

Thursday, 14 May 2015 10:37 AM

India's defense procurement agency has cleared the purchase of 56 transport planes from Europe's Airbus in collaboration with local partner Tata Sons in a deal worth an estimated $1.9 billion, a defense ministry source said on Thursday.

The government also approved a Russian proposal to build Kamov light helicopters in India and the purchase of 145 ultra-light howitzers from the United States as part of its efforts to modernize the military.

The transport planes are intended to replace the Indian Air Force's ageing fleet of Avro aircraft. Under the bid, Airbus will supply 16 of the C295 planes in "flyaway" condition and the subsequent 40 would be manufactured and assembled by Tata Advanced Systems in India.

They would be the first military planes built by an Indian private company on Indian soil. Current manufacturing is dominated by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics.

"The defense acquisition council has given its approval to negotiate with the Airbus-Tata consortium for the transport planes even though it was a single vendor case," said a defense source who asked not to be identified in line with defense ministry rules.

Under Indian procurement rules, there must be more than one bidder for any contract in play unless it is cleared by the defense acquisition council headed by the defense minister.

The source said contract negotiations for the aircraft are expected to conclude by the end of this year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking greater involvement of Indian companies in the defense market and to reduce the armed forces' dependence on foreign manufacturers as part of his "Make in India" program. ($1 = 63.5059 Indian rupees).

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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India's defense procurement agency has cleared the purchase of 56 transport planes from Europe's Airbus in collaboration with local partner Tata Sons in a deal worth an estimated $1.9 billion, a defense ministry source said on Thursday.
india, government, airbus, transportation, planes, europe
268
2015-37-14
Thursday, 14 May 2015 10:37 AM
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