Airbus Military is pleased to confirm that it has been selected by the Government of India as the preferred bidder to supply its A330 MRTT Multi Role Tanker Transport to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The decision follows a lengthy and thorough selection process including the completion of extensive flight demonstrations in India by the A330 MRTT during which the aircraft refuelled multiple types of IAF fighters and operated from the high-altitude IAF base at Leh.
Detailed negotiations will now begin which it is expected will lead to the award of a final production contract for an envisaged six aircraft in 2013.
Airbus Military CEO Domingo Ureña Raso said: “We are grateful for the confidence shown in our company by the Government of India and the Indian Air Force, and we appreciate the detailed and fair appraisal of the competing products which they have conducted. This has been a long and tough competition and we are honoured to have been selected.
“We are fully committed to the next stage of the negotiations, and ultimately to providing the IAF with what is unquestionably the most advanced tanker/transport aircraft flying and certified today.”
India´s selection of the A330 MRTT makes it the fifth nation to commit to the type following Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom which have ordered a total of 28 aircraft.
About A330 MRTT
The Airbus Military A330 MRTT is the only new generation strategic tanker/transport aircraft flying and available today. The large 111 tonnes/ 245,000 lb basic fuel capacity of the successful A330-200 airliner, from which it is derived, enables the A330 MRTT to excel in Air-to-Air Refuelling missions without the need for any additional fuel tank. The A330 MRTT is offered with a choice of proven air-to-air refuelling systems including an advanced Airbus
Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System, and/or a pair of under-wing hose and drogue pods, and/or a Fuselage Refuelling Unit.
Thanks to its true wide-body fuselage, the A330 MRTT can also be used as a pure transport aircraft able to carry 300 troops, or a payload of up to 45 tonnes/99,000 lb. It can also easily be converted to accommodate up to 130 stretchers for Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC). Todate, a total of 28 A330 MRTTs have been ordered by four customers (Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom), with one (Saudi Arabia) having already placed a repeat order.