India Picks Airbus Tanker

The Indian air force picked Airbus Military’s A330 tanker as its preferred option to fulfill its requirement for six modernized tanker aircraft, announced the company. “This has been a long and tough competition and we are honored to have been selected,” said Airbus Military CEO Domingo Raso in the company’s Jan. 11 release. “We are fully committed to the next stage of the negotiations” which should result in a contract later this year, he added. Airbus’ aerial refueler beat out Russian competitor Ilyushin’s Il-78 tanker in a series of flight trials that saw the aircraft operating from high-altitude forward operating bases and refueling several IAF fighter types, reported UPI last year. The final tanker deal could be worth upwards of $2 billion, according to that press report. India would be the fifth country to operate the Airbus tanker, said the company.