- Sep 13, 2010
Great points, the OEM MRTT doubt was in the back of mind too but if IAF/DRDO is really going all in on Airbus it makes sense to follow through with the 330 for tankersI don’t think Airbus will cooperate in integrating or certifying any indigenous mods for A2A MRTT aircraft especially when they have their own product. The only reason they may help with the NETRA MK2 or the a330 based AWACS is that they don’t have their own competing product in this segment.
Boeing did something like this when Israeli Aerospace Industries(IAI) started a 767 conversion program to make them tankers but Boeing refused to certify or provide any help as they had their own KC 46 Pegasus based on the 767 and only Colombia and Brazil took the IAI offer despite great interest from others.
Domestic firm Israel Aerospace Industries had planned to convert second-hand Boeing 767 aircraft into aerial refuelers.www.thedrive.com
Only solution I see is either take the French offer of the next Rafale batch with the tankers included and order few more tankers or the airframes required for the DRDO AWACS in place of the AS 565 Panthers they are offering .
Or develop our own Cargo aircraft for replacing the IL 76 flee and add whatever the fuck we want to it, in conjunction with Embraer or Antonov like the Chinese.
They’ll be procuring A330 airframes anyway for AWACS(I), ordering a few additional ones to convert for the AAR just makes sense even if it’s only for India’s needs- yes this will be opposed by the OEM considering they are pitching their own MRTT for the same role.
beyond that I wonder how long before DRDO starts picking up some second hand 320/319s to convert for VIP roles to replace/supplement the EMB-145s of the communication squadron? Seems only logical