Airbus A330 tanker pips IL-78 for $ 1 billion Indian tender: media reports

  • 12:00 AM, May 27, 2009
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Airbus A330 tanker pips IL-78 for $ 1 billion Indian tender: media reports
The Indian MoD has selected the Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) instead of the Russian Ilyushin-78 air-to-air tanker,the IAF Air Chief Marshal, Major Fali Homi said in an interview to an Indian newspaper. The deal is now to be cleared by the cabinet committee on security before the cheque is issued to Airbus. The Indian Air Force has been evaluating the A330 MRTT along with the IL-78 tanker for nearly two years now as part of an air-to-air tanker requirement. The The Ilyushin and Airbus platforms were competing for the tender announced by the MoD three years ago consisting of six midair tanker aircraft worth nearly $1 billion. The Air Chief Marshal now said that the Russian aircraft have failed to meet certain requirements. Therefore, the IAF has decided to take the A330 MRTT - a military derivative of the Airbus A330 airliner - offered by European aerospace corporation EADS. The first A330 MRTT may be delivered to the IAF within three years after signing the deal, while the remaining five would be inducted 15 months after that. The IAF has operated the Il-78 tankers for almost six years but in view of India’s increased operational requirements, it wanted a more robust aircraft and the Airbus A330 MRTT is believed to have met . The A330 MRTT has won several tanker competitions with contracts signed by the governments of United Kingdom, Australia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
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