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The Indian Navy, responsible for operating its aviation fleet across two aircraft carriers and with plans to expand its fighter jet capabilities for a proposed third aircraft carrier, is now considering the acquisition of Flight Refuelling Aircraft (FRA) to augment the range and endurance of its aerial platforms.

Insiders familiar with the matter have revealed to idrw that the Indian Navy is contemplating the procurement of at least three Flight Refuelling Aircraft (FRA) to meet its specific requirements. The Indian Air Force (IAF), which currently operates only six Russian IL-78 midair refuelers, has no surplus aircraft available for the Indian Navy’s needs.

To fulfil this requirement, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has partnered with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to explore the conversion of civilian aircraft, such as the Boeing 767, into refuelling tankers. HAL is currently engaged in discussions with the Indian Air Force (IAF) to acquire six Boeing 767 FRAs, with the possibility of a second batch order for an additional six aircraft.

The Indian Navy is closely monitoring this program, as it could provide valuable insights into the feasibility of acquiring similar FRAs for its fleet.

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