Airbus Military has bid against Russia’s Ilyushin to supply six mid-air refuellers for the Indian Air Force (IAF) tanker tender, announced in September 2010.

Airbus has offered its A330 MMTT against Ilyushin’s IL-78, which could be converted into a transport role within a matter of hours.

Airbus Military market development head Didier Vernet said the firm would submit its offset proposals for the contract by April 2011, according to the Economic Times.

The new midair refuellers will increase the IAF’s existing IL-78 fleet and will also help air forces to respond to security threats by allowing fighter jets to stay for longer periods of time in air.

The IAF is currently operating six IL-78 refuellers in its fleet and the squadron is based at Agra Air Force Base in India.