Airbus Military has released images of its A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) in Indian Air Force colours as the contest to supply the country with six additional tankers approaches a conclusion.
EADS subsidiary Airbus and Russia's United Aircraft (UAC) responded to a tanker request for proposals (RFP) in 2007 and industry sources say a selection is expected by the end of this year. UAC is offering a more advanced version of the Ilyushin Il-78 tanker, of which India already operates 12.
Boeing was not immediately available to comment on whether it is offering its KC-767 to meet the requirement.
The RFP calls for deliveries of the new tankers to begin three years after contract signature.
Airbus Military head of product marketing for Airbus derivatives, Roy Sanders, says at the Aero India airshow in Bangalore that India has been offered the A330-200-based MRTT in a similar, three-hose configuration to that being acquired by the UK as part of its FSTA programme.
Sanders adds that he expects India, like the UK, to utilise the aircraft as cargo transports, as well as for air-to-air refuelling.
India is expected to require a large number of additional tankers when it begins taking delivery of 126 fighters as part of its medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) programme.
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Source: Flight International