IAF pre­pares for A330 MRTT op­er­a­tions

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

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.

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