Pakistan has accepted the delivery of the 3rd Il-78P Midas Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) from Ukraine. This Il-78 MRTT will arrive in Pakistan by the end of this week.

Pakistan Air Force has procured 4 Il-78P Midas MRTT aircrafts from Ukraine. These aircraft are equipped with the three-point drogue refueling system.

Pakistan Air Force has upgraded 30 Mirage-III Rose-I with refueling kits purchased from the South Africa. These upgraded Mirage-III Rose-I will allow PAF’s pilots to have active air to air refueling with the IL-78P. Pakistan also plans to use IL-78P Midas MRTT aircrafts to refuel JF-17 Thunder and FC-20 fighter jets.

While Il-78P Midas MRTT aircrafts will initially be used with the Mirages, this is going to change with the arrival of the new batch of the JF-17 Thunder fighter jets. Pakistan has shown intention of purchasing 250 JF-17 Thunder.

These air refueling tankers will allow PAF increase the reach of its fighter jets while of strike missions and endurance of its fighter aircrafts while on the petrol duties to protect the Pakistani airspace.

IL-78MP MRTT can also be used as a transport aircrafts though the removal of the two fuel tanks placed inside the freight hold of the aircraft. Payload capacity of the IL-78MP MRTT is much more than that of PAF’s C-130 Hercules transport aircrafts.

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