The Indian Air Force (IAF) is considering, wet leasing Flight Refueller Aircraft to extend the reach of its fighter jets for which it has six vendors responded to the Request for Information (RFI) that was issued in March 2021. IAF is presently going through the vendor-submitted documents and will start evaluations before it selects L! vendor that also meets technical requirements.

AirTanker consortium has offered A330 MRTT, Boeing KC-46 Pegasus, and Russia its IL-78, French Air Force also has offered its A330 MRTT and a US-based company its KC-767 tanker.

The IAF operates a fleet of six Russian-origin Ilyushin-78 tankers that are plagued by maintenance problems and the force urgently needs at least six more for which it had selected A330 MRTT twice but failed to ink the contract due to high procurement cost. Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP)-2020 now allows leasing of military equipment like Flight Refueller Aircraft.

Wet leasing is when the lessor provides the aircraft and crew. The leasing company has its crew, AOC, and everything needed to begin flights on an almost immediate basis.

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