A year ago, in early June 2020, the State Company Ukrspetsexport, which is part of the State Concern Ukroboronprom, won a multimillion-dollar tender for the repair of the IL-78 refuelling aircraft announced by the Pakistan Air Force Procurement Office. 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-fuelling 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 refuelling 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-engine aerial refuelling 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 the 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 the deployment of the probe-and-drogue refuelling method.
Ukrspecexport is a Ukrainian state-owned arms trading company and part of the state conglomerate Ukrainian Defence 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.