IAF to deploy mid-air refuelling aircraft in West Bengal

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Daredevil, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    IAF to deploy mid-air refuelling aircraft in West Bengal

    NEW DELHI: The Air Force is planning to deploy six mid-air refuelling tankers aircraft at Panagarh air base in West Bengal, a step that will boost the striking range of its fighter planes like Su-30 MKIs based along the China border.

    IAF is expected to soon award the contract for procuring six mid-air refuelling tanker planes for which Russian-origin Ilyushin-78 and European A-330 MRTT are in the race, sources told PTI here.

    At present, six mid-air refuelling planes are based in Agra to cater to the entire IAF.

    With the deployment of these tanker aircraft in Panagarh, the striking range of fighter planes like Su-30 MKIs based in Tezpur and Chabua (both in Assam) will be enhanced as these can get fuel mid-air.

    Mid-air refuellers are considered force-multipliers as they help in enhancing the strategic reach and the striking range of fighter jets.

    Panagarh is an World War II airbase developed by the Americans to launch their aircraft into China during that period. It has been reactivated recently for use by the IAF.

    The Il-78 and the European A-330 MRTT are in race for the deal to supply these six tankers deal expected to cost more than USD two billion to the IAF.

    At present, the fighter jets deployed in the eastern region are being refuelled by the aircraft based in Agra but the whole exercise is a time-consuming process, the sources explained.

    As part of its efforts to strengthen its defences and preparedness along the China border, India has taken several steps such as deployment of squadrons of Su-30 MKI and raising of two additional divisions of the troops there.

    It is also reactivating and opening airfields in Arunachal Pradesh and other states in the northeast.
     
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  3. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    [​IMG]

    A330MRTT

    [​IMG]

    IL-78 Refueler
     
    blank_quest and sob like this.
  4. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    IAF to deploy mid-air refuelling aircraft in West Bengal

    when??????????????
     
  5. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I suppose it will take 3 years after contract is signed.
     
  6. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    we need long legs for China........
     
  7. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    why are they keeping them in bengal??
    its too far away from china.cant we keep them nearer to china or develop new bases nearer to china
     
  8. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    sikkim is too attached with W.B.. and who says W.B is not near china :thumb:
     
  9. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    panagarh to Gangtok,Sikkim its around 650km.Google maps

    is it near enough for an airbase??
     
  10. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    It is good enough for support aircraft. Any closer and they are inviting attacks on their home base.

    Current aircraft have a range of 1500Km(Mig-21/LCA) minimum and 3000Km(MKI/Rafale) maximum. The IL-78s can also handle ranges of 3000-5000Km on their own fuel loads.

    The IL-78s can also support MKIs at Kalaikunda in patrolling the Bay of Bengal up to Malacca Strait.
     
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  11. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    so this could be the reason for placing them there. one place two strategic positions covered
     
  12. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Yes. Pretty much it.

    Three if you include Sikkim front apart from the North East area.

    Four if you include Myanmar and Bangladesh.
     

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