Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has informed the Indian Air Force (IAF) in New Delhi that it is prepared to construct a medium-category transport aircraft with a 20-ton internal cargo capacity.
For the first time, private sector manufacturing of transport aircraft was excluded from the C-295M agreement. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has already begun the procurement process for a Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA), which would be utilized for a range of transport aircraft tasks and have a cargo-carrying capability of between 18 and 30 tonnes.
Despite being referred to as the An-32 Replacement Program, the Indian Defence Research Wing (IDRW) reported that it is anticipated that the IAF will eventually make more orders for the C-295M, which will eventually replace the fleet of aging An-32 aircraft. According to sources cited by IDRW, HAL will propose the creation of a Medium Category Transport Aircraft that is anticipated to close the size and capabilities gap between the IAF’s IL-76 and Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. The interior cargo capacity of this military aircraft is expected to be 30 tonnes, with a maximum takeoff weight of 80–90 tonnes.
Embraer, a Brazilian aviation manufacturer, has offered the C-390 Millennium, a medium-sized, twin-engine, jet-powered military transport aircraft, and HAL is already in negotiations with them. However, the 23 tonnes of internal cargo capacity will make it inappropriate under the present RFI.
There is reportedly still another proposal for an IAF military transport aircraft, but the specifics have not yet been made public.