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India issues fresh request for tanker purchase

India's defence ministry has issued a fresh request for proposals to aerospace concerns in Europe, Russia and the USA for six inflight refuelling aircraft, reviving a contest worth an estimated $2 billion.

New Delhi had previously selected Airbus Military's A330-200-based multi-role tanker transport to meet its air force requirement, but cancelled the programme before a contract could be signed. Its decision followed pressure from India's finance ministry regarding the proposed cost of the deal.

© Airbus Military
India previously selected an A330-based tanker

Vivek Lal, vice-president of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, confirms that the US company has received the new RFP.

The Indian air force currently flies seven Ilyushin Il-78MK tankers, as listed in Flightglobal's MiliCAS database. Russia's United Aircraft Corporation has previously offered to produce a modernised version of the current aircraft for India.

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