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India in talks with Russia on purchase of modernized Il-76 refueling aircraft

August 04, 2016, 8:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The contract cost may mount to two billion U.S. dollars

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IL-76MD-90A plane

IL-76MD-90A plane

© ITAR-TASS/Marina Lystseva

MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. India is in talks with Russia on the purchase of six Il-78MD-90A refueling aircraft for its air force.

The contract cost may mount to two billion U.S. dollars, Russia’s Izvestia daily said on Thursday, citing a source in the defense sector.

The Il-78MD-90 is a modernized model of the Il-76 transport plane. If talks are successful, it will be first contract for Il-78MD-90A exports.

"So far, there is no prototype refueling aircraft on the Il-76MD-90A platform. It is expected to make it maiden flight only next year," the source said.

As of today, India’s air force has six Il-78MKI refueling aircraft purchased back in the 2000s. They are based in Agra in northern India. The new aircraft will be based in Panagar, West Bengal.

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