EXCLUSIVE: IAF An-32 Upgrade Begins This Month, First Batch To Ukraine Soon

Following the contract that was signed on June 15 last year between the Indian government and M/s Spets Techno Export, Ukraine, the first batch of Indian An-32 tactical airlifters will leave for Kiev, Ukraine this month, while the remaining fleet will be overhauled and upgraded at the IAF's Base Repair Depot-1 (BRD-1) in Kanpur. A total of 105 An-32s will be upgraded under the contract with Antonov Aeronautical Complex. I met officials from Antonov this week at DefExpo and got a brief on the upgrade programme.

Each of the 105 An-32s earmarked for the upgrade will be integrated with an tactical air collision avoidance system, ground proximity warning system, satellite navigation console, distance measuring equipment, new and upgraded radio altimeters, a whole new radar with two new large multifunction displays in the cockpit, a brand new oxygen handling and supply system, and most visibly, improved seats for crew members! A total of 25 new elements form a part of the upgrade. An Indian crew will station itself in the Ukraine starting next month and will remain there for a five-year period to test the upgraded fleet.

Antonov is also pitching its An-74 to the Navy, IAF and Coast Guard, and is holding discussions with HAL about system outsourcing.

Photos by Shiv Aroor / Visakhapatnam

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