Monday, January 18, 2021

IAF looks to lease mid-air refuellers amid critical shortage, seeks offers from Airbus, Boeing

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has sought financial quotes from American aviation giant Boeing and the European aerospace major Airbus for leasing of at least two tankers to overcome India’s critical shortage of mid-air refuelling capability.

While the IAF has sought leasing quotes for two mid-air refuellers from Airbus, it has requested quotes for only one from Boeing, sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint.

This has led to speculation that India might end up leasing three tankers and will go in for a large order of six refuellers based on the experience of using them.

The IAF is in talks with both companies, the sources said, and a decision in this regard could come soon.

In consideration are the A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft, a derivative of the twin-engine A330 passenger aircraft of Airbus, and the KC-46 tanker, a derivative of the Boeing 767 passenger jet, the sources added.

It was earlier believed that the IAF had made up its mind for the Airbus tanker, and Boeing wasn’t among the options.

18/01/21 Snehesh Alex Philip/Print

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