Ukrspetsexport, represented by its General Director Vadym Nozdri, signed a contract with the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) to repair its IL-78 aerial refueling aircraft on Tuesday. The agreement was signed on the second day of the “Arms and Security-2021” exhibition currently on in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. In June of last year, DK “Ukrspetsexport” also awarded a multi-million dollar tender to repair the first of the PAF’s IL-78 refueling aircraft.That contract for the repair of the fuel tanker has already been successfully fulfilled by Mykolaiv Air Repair Plant.
The Pakistan Air Force procured its four IL-78s from Ukrainian surplus stocks in the mid-to-late 2000s. The first plane was delivered to the service in December 2009. Equipped with UPAZ re-fueling pods, the PAF has used the IL-78 to support its Mirage Retrofit Strike Element (ROSE) squadrons as well as undertake heavy-lift transport tasks. The refueling pods on the IL-78 Midas aircraft are suitable to refuel the Pakistan Air Force’s Dassault Mirage III/Vs and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 Thunder jets.
The Ilyushin Il-78 (NATO reporting name Midas) is a Soviet four-engined aerial refueling tanker based on the Il-76 strategic airlifter. The Il-78 tanker was developed and designed in the Ilyushin Aviation Complex in Russia. The main reason behind its development was an expansion of the transferable fuel load of an earlier version of tanker, the Il-76. The Il-78 has a total transferable fuel load of 85,720 kilograms (188,980 lb) and transfers fuel solely through deployment of the probe-and-drogue refueling method.
Ukrspecexport is a Ukrainian state-owned arms trading company and part of the state conglomerate Ukrainian Defense Industry. UKRSPECEXPORT was formed in November 1996 by merging Ukroboronservice and Ukrinmash. It is a subsidiary of Ukroboronprom. UKRSPECEXPORT SC not only sells the products of the Ukrainian arms industry, but also the excess weapons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine inherited from the Soviet Armed Forces. Since February 2011 the company also produces non-military firearms and ammunition for them.