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HAL and Israel Aerospace have teamed up to convert civil aeroplanes into mid-air refuellors

In a significant development, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to convert civil passenger aircraft to Multi Mission Tanker Transport (MMTT) aircraft in India. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has been looking to procure new mid-air refuellers for sometime.

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  • HAL will convert pre-owned civil (passenger) aircraft into air refuelling aircraft with cargo and transport capabilities under the newly inked agreement.
  • HAL stated in a statement that the move will give new capabilities and cost-effective solutions to India’s defence industry.
  • According to the MoU, it also covers passenger to cargo aircraft conversions as well as MMTT conversions.
  • A Boeing 767 passenger plane, according to a defence official, is likely to be transformed.


  • The IAF presently has six Russian IL-78 tankers and has been looking to procure six new aircraft for sometime, but the deal has been repeatedly delayed.
  • It has been looking to reissue the tender but the financial crunch had made it rethink the acquisition.
  • To meet requirements in the interim, it has been looking at leasing some mid-air refuellers, an option introduced in the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020.


Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is a state-owned Indian aerospace and defence enterprise based in Bengaluru. HAL was founded on December 23, 1940, and is now one of the world’s oldest and largest aerospace and defence companies.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Founded: 1940;
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka;
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited CMD: R Madhavan.

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