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IAF makes Il-78s operational

September 25, 2004 23:29 IST

The Indian Air Force has made operational in record time its Ilyushin-78 midair refuellers, the force multipliers it acquired a little over a year ago.

India is now the only power in Asia after China to deploy such a capability.

The IAF's Midair Refuelling Squadron claims to have attained technical proficiency in giving intercontinental strike range for the IAF's Mirage-2000 and Sukhoi-30 jets.

India has already acquired four of the refuellers from Uzbekistan and two more are expected next month, but Group Captain Shouvik Roy said that the squadron was fully operational.

The giant IL-78 refuellers, equipped with Russian, French and Israeli avionics and other systems, was acquired more than a year ago, making the IAF only the sixth air force in the world to have such force multipliers.

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