Ilyushin Il-78

The PLAAF currently operates three Ilyushin Il-78 (NATO code name: ‘Midas’) aerial refuelling tankers, which were remanufactured examples acquired from Ukraine in 2012. China’s previous attempt to purchase 8 newly-built Il-78s along with 30 Il-76 transports from Russia and Uzbekistan in 2005-07 was unsuccessful, when the deal collapsed after prolonged delays and price hikes.

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