India negotiates the lease of an A330 MRTT refueling aircraft with France

Since plane deliveries Rafale towards India began, the aircraft assembled in Merignac systematically made the journey by air accompanied by an A330 MRTT Phoenix tanker plane from the Air Force. The objective for Paris was twofold. On the one hand, allow long-distance delivery by reducing the number of stopovers to a minimum, and thus show the potential and reliability of the French hunter both to the authorities and to Indian public opinion, which, moreover, has taken a of an unfeigned enthusiasm for Rafale since the first delivery. On the other hand, it was a question of showing the Indian authorities as well as the Indian Air Force, the performances of the couple Rafale-A330 MRTT, while New Delhi is looking for a solution to acquire a fleet of six tanker aircraft.

It seems that the French strategy has borne fruit, since according to the daily Hindustantimes.com, the Indian authorities are said to have undertaken to negotiate with Paris the leasing of an A330 MRTT, in a process between States, with the aim of training the IAF personnel on the platform, in order to be rapidly operational when the 'IAF will receive 5 other MRTTs which would be acquired as a second step. The use of leasing allows the IAF to speed up the implementation process. An identical method was employed by New Delhi regarding the implementation ofa fleet of MQ9B Guardian drones, of which 6 units were initially rented beforean order of 30 copies is officially announced some months later.

Morphee A330 MRTT Defense News | Aircraft Tankers | Military aircraft construction
During the first peak of COVID contamination in the spring of 2020, the Phoenix of the Air Force actively participated in the movement of patients to less affected regions before decongesting the health services of the areas hardest hit by the Pandemic

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