SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
In a significant move, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been actively seeking a Wet Lease of Flight Refueling Aircraft. This endeavour aims to enhance its aerial refuelling capabilities, and one of the key contenders for this lease is Boeing’s KC-46 Pegasus, an American military aerial refuelling and strategic transport aircraft based on the 767 jet airliner that has been offered to IAF for Wet Lease.
The IAF issued a global Request for Proposal (RFP) last year, outlining the specific parameters of the lease arrangement. The key details include:
- Period of Lease: Three years
- Flight Hours: Up to 100 hours per month
- Type of Lease: Wet lease
- Option Clause: Extendable by three years
It’s essential to note that the IAF’s journey to augment its refuelling tankers has seen several twists and turns. Over the past 15 years, the IAF has twice withdrawn bids for refuelling tankers after twice selecting Airbus’s A330MRTT.
In addition to this, France responded to the IAF’s RFP with its French Air Force-operated Airbus A330MRTT. Interestingly, a British company known as AirTanker also extended a lease offer for the Airbus A330MRTT, drawing from its experience in leasing Airbus A330-200 MRTTs to the UK Royal Air Force.
Boeing in past has offered its KC-46 Pegasus to IAF as part of the Goverment to Goverment Deal as it was not ready to respond to the Open Tender Proposal by IAF. Last year, HAL entered into an MoU with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to convert Civil (Passenger) aircraft to Multi-Mission Tanker Transport (MMTT) aircraft in India. Under the pact signed recently, HAL will convert pre-owned Civil (Passenger) aircraft into air refuelling aircraft with cargo and transport capabilities.
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