Air­bus Mil­i­tary A330 MRTT se­lected by In­dian Government

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

As re­ported ear­lier by SP’s M.A.I., Air­bus Mil­i­tary has emerged victorious in the In­dian Air Force’s (IAF) midair re­fu­elling tanker bid. The new gen­er­a­tion Air­bus A330 MRTT has turned out low­est bid­der in a face-off against the Rus­sian Il-78M, al­ready in op­er­a­tion with the IAF at Agra. A con­tract will be ne­go­ti­ated be­tween the Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) and Air­bus now and is ex­pected to cost the In­dian Government just over $1 bil­lion.

In a state­ment, Air­bus Mil­i­tary said, “The de­ci­sion fol­lows a lengthy and thor­ough se­lec­tion process in­clud­ing the com­ple­tion of ex­ten­sive flight demon­stra­tions in In­dia by the A330 MRTT dur­ing which the air­craft re­fu­elled mul­ti­ple types of IAF fight­ers and op­er­ated from the high-al­ti­tude IAF base at Leh. De­tailed ne­go­ti­a­tions will now be­gin which it is ex­pected will lead to the award of a fi­nal pro­duc­tion con­tract for an en­vis­aged six air­craft in 2013.”

Air­bus Mil­i­tary CEO Domingo Ureña Raso said, “We are grate­ful for the con­fi­dence shown in our com­pany by the Government of In­dia and the In­dian Air Force, and we ap­pre­ci­ate the de­tailed and fair ap­praisal of the com­pet­ing prod­ucts which they have con­ducted. This has been a long and tough com­pe­ti­tion and we are hon­oured to have been se­lected. We are fully com­mit­ted to the next stage of the ne­go­ti­a­tions, and ul­ti­mately to pro­vid­ing the IAF with what is un­ques­tion­ably the most ad­vanced tanker/trans­port air­craft fly­ing and cer­ti­fied to­day.” In­dia will be the fifth na­tion to or­der the A330 MRTT af­ter Aus­tralia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emi­rates and the United King­dom.

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