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India to Buy Airbus Tankers Over Russian Proposal

It is being reported that India has gone ahead and selected the Airbus A-330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) for its new aerial tanker mission. This aircraft is manufactured by EADS and has been chosen by the U.K., Australia and some Middle Eastern states as well. The aircraft was proposed for the new U.S. Air Force tanker but that contract went to Boeing (BA) with a version of the 767 aircraft 2 years ago.

India selected the A330 to augment a small fleet of Russian Il-76 based tankers rather then buying more of those aircraft in a blow to Russian military overseas sales.

While the aircraft has been selected to fulfill the requirement the final contract has yet to be negotiated and should be some time in the next year. As the new fighter program shows, won by France’s Rafale, it may take some time to compelte final negotiations and actually award the contract.

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