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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Il-78MKI Aerial Refuelling Tanker Aircrafts Of The Indian Air Force [IAF]

Article covering the Indian Air Force's [IAF] operation of the Russian-origin IL-78 MKI Aerial Tanker Aircraft.

A fairly long article, written back in 2007, when the IAF flew to the UK to take part in the Indradhanush Air Exercises with the Royal British Air Force. Accompanying the fighters were the Air Force's Mid-Air Refuelling tankers, the IL-78MKI aircraft. Journalists were allowed inside the aircraft. The article was originally written for a Greek magazine, in Greek. This is, what I suspect is machine translation of the article, put up at the Dutch Aviation Media website. Despite the pitfalls of machine translation, large part of the article is still very readable, with information about the tanker's operation, I hadn't known before. Worth a read. Also covers the Indo-French Garuda-2 exercise, where too the Il-78s took part.

Some factual corrections to the article:

  • The IAF Sukhoi Su-30 MKI are known to use Cobham's 754-series buddy-buddy refuelling kit
  • No follow-on order for more of these Il-78s were placed. Instead, the IAF went in for competitive bidding, in which the Airbus A330 MRTT seems to have emerged winner recently
  • total number of Su-30 MKIs to be inducted too has increase since 2007.


Related: IAF Mirage 2000 Fighters Hooking-Up With An Il-78 Tanker To Perform Mid-Air Refuelling