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According to sources to, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is reviewing an offer from the State-run aviation firm Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which would involve partnering with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to convert civil aircraft into multi-mission tanker transport (MMTT) aircraft within India.

Reports suggest that the IAF is considering purchasing a minimum of 12 flight refuelling aircraft (FRA) from HAL, pending the submission of a commercial offer for an FRA variant based on the Boeing 767. The procurement would likely occur in two batches of six aircraft each.

Sources indicate that a pre-owned Boeing 767 passenger aircraft with the required fuel transfer system configuration would cost approximately $150-160 million, while a new Boeing-developed specialised tanker based on the same platform, the KC-46, would cost around $239.8 million.

In the early 2000s, India procured six unfinished IL-76 airframes stored in Uzbekistan from the late 80s and paid Russia to complete their manufacturing into Ilyushin IL-78MKI flight refuelling aircraft (FRA) with an Israeli fuel transfer system. However, due to inadequate repair facilities and poor maintenance support from the original equipment manufacturers, the aircraft’s serviceability is currently less than 50 per cent.

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