The Indian Air Force is planning to deploy six mid-air refuelling tanker aircraft at Panagarh air base in West Bengal, a step that will boost the striking range of its fighter planes such as 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 said.

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

(This article was published on August 20, 2012)
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