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Airbus Seeks to Sell Refueling Tankers to Indian Air Force

Airbus SAS is competing to sell its A330 refueling-tanker aircraft to the Indian Air Force, a marketing director for the model said at an air show in Malaysia.

Airbus Military, an arm of the European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. planemaker that markets the A330 airliner’s tanker version, has bid in a tender that India started at the end of 2010, Maggie Bergsma, a spokeswoman for the division, said in an e-mail from the show in Langkawi, confirming comments made yesterday by the executive, Pablo Quesada, to Agence France-Presse.

The only company offering a competitor to the A330 in the Indian contract would be Moscow-based United Aircraft Corp. with its Ilyushin 78 model, as Boeing Co. hasn’t responded to the request for proposals, AFP reported, citing unidentified people in the aerospace industry.

“Boeing did not submit a proposal in 2011 for India’s tanker requirement. If there is interest from our Indian customers, we will be happy to evaluate any future requirements,” the Chicago-based company said in an e-mailed response to questions about its participation.

Indian government spokesmen didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Russia’s arms export monopoly submitted a bid “a long time ago,” for the Ilyushin plane, Vyacheslav Davidenko, a spokesman for Rosoboronexport, said today by phone.

Airbus so far has won orders for 28 A330 tankers from Australia, the U.K., Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The plane lost a competition in the U.S. to Boeing.

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