IAF prepares for A330 MRTT operations
The Indian Air Force (IAF) anticipates a contract award to Airbus Military for the A330 MRTT before the end of the financial year, top sources inform SP’s. The contract for six A330 MRTT flight refuelling aircraft, fitted with Israeli hose and drogue refuelling systems (as is standard on the Il78Ms of the IAF) will come as big relief to the IAF, which plans to deploy the new refuellers to the Eastern sector, in Panagarh, West Bengal. Airbus Military CEO Domingo Ureña Raso said at the time, “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.” When the MoD signs on the dotted line, India will become the fifth nation to commit to the A330 MRTT following Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom which have ordered a total of 28 aircraft. The IAF is also opening channels with other operators of the platform, including UAE, Australia and the UK as it prepares to welcome the new platform into its fleet.