Trials for IAF's Multi-Role Tanker Transport Completed

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Drsomnath999, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Drsomnath999

    Drsomnath999 lord of 32 teeth Elite Member

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    (Source: Rediff.com; published January 02, 2012)


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    Trials in support of the Indian Air Force's procurement of six multi-role tanker transports for around $2 billion (around Rs 10,000 crore) involving Europe's EADS and Russia's [ Images ] Rosonboronexport have been completed recently and the rival commercial bids are expected to be opened early in the new year.

    Official sources said the trials featuring the EADS-built Airbus Military A 330 MRTT and the Russian Ilyushin IL-78 -- of which the IAF had acquired six in 2004 -- concluded in Gwalior last month.

    The rival tankers displayed their ability in re-fuelling frontline IAF fighters like Su-30MKI's, Mirage 2000H and MiG-29s' whose operational range they would extend significantly for out-of-area contingency operations once inducted into service.

    This capability assessment in Gwalior followed trials in Spain and Russia in July after the tender was re-issued in September 2010, nine months after a similar MRTT contract featuring the same two tankers for around $1.06 billion (around Rs 5,300 crore) was terminated.

    US' Boeing, that was also included in the September 2010 request for proposal, opted not to compete for the tender.

    Entreaties by the IAF -- which desperately needs mid-air refuellers for its enhanced regional role -- to Defence Minister A K Antony not to cancel the MRTT deal following finance ministry objections to the A-330's 'inordinately' high cost were summarily overruled.

    At the time Antony had maintained that the ministry of defence had sent the tanker contract to the finance ministry three times for clearance but to no avail.

    Antony declared that the finance ministry had categorically declared that it would not support the MTRR import in the Cabinet Committee on Security whose clearance was mandatory ahead of the procurement.

    At the time the finance ministry had stated that since the IAF already operated an IL-78 fleet, an add-on order for this cheaper platform was preferred.

    Under successive editions of India's Defence Procurement Procedures only the lowest bid -- or L1 -- is deemed acceptable for purchase. But in pressing their preference for the A-330 the IAF is believed to have argued that the MRTTs life cycle cost had not been taken into account to make it more competitive in the long run.

    Former Air Chief Marshal Fali H Major too had publicly declared several years ago that the A-330 MRTT "scores above the IL 78" but that the final procurement decision would be the government’s.

    ACM Major also conceded that the IL-78 under evaluation had failed in meeting the IAF's requirements. The IAF maintained that the A 330 MRTT was not only technologically superior to the Il- 78's but also more fuel efficient.

    Besides, many of its systems could be overhauled locally as several domestic airlines operated various Airbus models, thereby reducing its long term cost.

    By opting for the A 330 MRTTs the IAF was also expressing its long-standing discontent with Russian equipment and attempting to diversify its predominantly Soviet and Russian hardware. Official sources indicated that life cycle costs would be considered with regard to the new MRTT tender that would take at least two years if not more to conclude following price negotiations.

    The IAF's requirement for mid-air tankers is urgent as it acquires 200-300 additional combat aircrafts over the next two decades.

    -ends-
    Trials for IAF's Multi-Role Tanker Transport Completed
     
    Sridhar and maomao like this.
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  3. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Tanker+Transport ? It should go to A330 MRTT.
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The IL maybe cheaper to buy, but it is a fuel guzzler and is expensive to operate.
     
  5. JAISWAL

    JAISWAL Senior Member Senior Member

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    but, doesn't two different types of tanker may create some problem.
    is AB-330 MRTA is which i think will win as IAF favours it, will use for MMRCA and western a/cs only and not for russian origion a/cs.
     
  6. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    True,but in India decision are made politically rather then technically....unfortunately
     
  7. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    IMO, A-330 MRTT would be best choice. I Hope MoD purchase Airbus one only so that by 2015 end, All 6 would be inducted.
     
  8. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    It can fuel whatever aircraft you got. The fuel flow is adjustable to any setting.

    If the Ilyushin doesn't meet IAF requirements, it can't be shortlisted. There is only one on the list, MRTT = winner. L1 includes life cycle cost MMRT = winner. FinMin can't go breaking rules to fit its budget.
     
  9. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    No it was finance ministry, who rejected the proposal, on the grounds that how an expensive option has been chosen, when a cheaper option was avaialble
     
  10. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    still again Rupee is falling A-330 will be rejected again......
    so as knowing going to A-330 is not feasible again.....
     
  11. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    what exactly mean??

    do you mean it can do both!!!
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  12. utubekhiladi

    utubekhiladi The Preacher Elite Member

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    good news..............
     
  13. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    It can do whatever extension you put on it. If you need a Russian probe, attach the pod. If you need a Western boom, done... if you need a Western probe, change the pod. The boom is the only thing that has to have special installation. The pods can be changed per mission.
     
  14. debasree

    debasree Regular Member

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    whatever they choose do quickly we r ufjent nead of these birds
     
  15. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    That is the real problem, Cheap does not always mean best....in the longer run IL-76 will prove costlier in terms of spares and man hours then A330. This thing don't go in the head of our sarkari babus
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2012
  16. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    You are right here, IAF has selected European bird because of lower life cycle cost, which unfortunately was not understood by higher ups
     
  17. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    its said that russian machinery is not only fuel in-efficient but also they are very hard to maintain and operate. as India is planning to operate european fighters in future ie EF2000/Rafale, it is but obvious to go for european tanker plane.
    moreover the article points out the difference between the force and MoD. MoD, FM and forces all are standing up against eachother.

    life cycle cost is first not included and all...this is not done, its not the first time these guys are purchasing a tanker!
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  18. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    You can not keep politics out of Govt operations unless you've non-human artificial intelligence taking over the world.
     
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  19. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Strategic dealings with EADS will be advantageous any given day. We are not paying right away. DPP will come in play for every deal hereafter. IL76 is complete no-no for IAF.
     

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