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Aero India 2023: India's C295 maritime patrol aircraft faces delays

India's MRMR/MMMA project aims to provide the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy with a medium-range maritime patrol aircraft. (Janes/Chinmay Kohad)

India's planned development of a maritime patrol variant of the Airbus C295 transport aircraft has been delayed after the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which is chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, raised questions about the project.

The Indian Coast Guard has outlined a requirement for six of the proposed maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) while the Indian Navy has issued a requirement for nine, K Rajalakshmi Menon, programme director of the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO's) Centre for Air Borne Systems (CABS), told Janes at the Aero India 2023 show, which is being held in Bangalore.

However, Janes understands that the DAC has requested clarifications about the project and that development has been halted until clarifications are sent to the DAC and assessed. Speaking at Aero India 2023, DRDO project leaders declined to elaborate at the time of publication.

However, Janes understands that the government is assessing the project's electronic intelligence (ELINT) capability and the potential integration into the proposed C295 MPA of advanced sensors such as the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The AESA radar planned for the aircraft is a version of the S-band (2βˆ’4 GHz) primary surveillance radar (PSR) integrated with the Embraer EMB-145 Netra airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. The radar will be optimised for air-to-sea surface monitoring.

The project aims to deliver a variant of the patrol aircraft known as the Multi-Mode Maritime Aircraft (MMMA) to the Indian Coast Guard. Another variant, called the Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR), is being developed for the Indian Navy.

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