Monday, June 06, 2011

Peeved IAF Looks Beyond Russia To Revive Ilyushins

Seemingly exasperated by low-availability/serviceability for years as a consequence of what it has described unofficially as "unpredictable Russian support" and the country's apparent unwillingness to honour after-sales commitments, the Indian Air Force is looking for the first time beyond Russia for long-term maintenance and product support of its fleet of Ilyushin-76 heavy transports and Ilyushin-78M tanker transports at Agra, Chandigarh, Delhi and Nagpur.

In April this year, the IAF broke with tradition and floated a global tender to provide its Il-76/78 fleet "service support to ensure IAF requirements to maintain present airworthiness standards" for a period of five years, extendable to ten. The IAF has been improvising plenty to keep the heavy jets airworthy, but does not believe it can continue to do so without solid support. The Russian OEM, apparently, cannot be relied upon. The IAF has stipulated that bidders need to have the support of the Ilyushin Design Bureau.

According to the tender document, "The primary requirement of the contract is to ensure a minimum serviceability of 70% of number of [aircraft] included in the contract during the currency of contract. Period of contract shall be five years, further extendable for another five years. The vendor is required to meet this requirement by providing all the required maintenance and product support." It further stipulates that, "on any single day the serviceability of each fleet (IL-76 and IL-78) should not fall below 50% of total number of ac included in the contract."

Interestingly, the IAF has offered to pay the winning bidder an incentive if higher serviceability percentage above the minimum specified is achieved during execution of the contract. And they'll be penalised if they fall short of the required mark.

Nine IAF Ilyushins which will be undergoing overhaul and total life extension at the time the contract is expected to be awarded will not be included. An additional unspecified number of Ilyushins has remained grounded indefinitely "for want of spares/aggregates which have become unserviceable or expired their TBO/TTL".

Here's the full IAF request for information.

12 comments :

Kunal said...

"The IAF has stipulated that bidders need to have the support of the Ilyushin Design Bureau"

But the point is, will the Russians give such authorization to some third party?

Manish Kumar said...

Jago Russia Jago

Anonymous said...

The Ministry of Finance should sanction adequate funds if the IAF wants to buy the A-330 MRTT's instead of the IL-78 midair refuellers.

Anonymous said...

Shiv - the IAF's RFI request has Ilyushin's address. Is Ilyushin acting on IAF's behalf soliciting information to maintain the fleet?

Second point is regarding bidders requiring support of Ilyushin Design Bureau.

could you clarify what will be Ilyushin Design bureau's role in this RFI? Also, a cursory review of the post reveals that Russia is still very much in the loop (because of above points).

Anonymous said...

This means our billions $ worth AWACs r also grounded?? What was the need to go for il 76 as an AWACs platform when we knew the type of after sales service the ruskies are going to provide??

Anonymous said...

This is such a stupid tender - they are looking for help from western companies to support a Russian aircraft, but the bidder requires the blessing from Ilyushin. Does this make any sense?

Cujo

Anonymous said...

ilyushin or a smart alec with a business sense and connections with ilyushin , will open a sales office in UK or EU with a EU sounding name and sell the spares to India @100 times the actuals.Simple!!!

भारतीय नागरिक - Indian Citizen said...

This should have been taken into account long back...

Rahul Devnath said...

It's really sad to see almost 50% of IL-76 fleet grounded for want of spares. However 26 years is a good enough period of time for the ILs in IAF. And after the fall of USSR, spares for most of the Soviet era aircrafts are at the mercy of either Russians or other cannibalized aircrafts. But, this not the first time India has looked beyond Russia, there is of Ukraine. There are couple of erstwhile USSR countries, with many IL-76 airframes lying around, sourcing parts should not be difficult, but getting the quality is a different ball game. Best thing would be speed up C-17 acquisition, however a maintenance package would ensure that IAF regain there derelict state IL-76s airframes lying around as well.

MPatel said...

well IAF can now pay $4 billion for another 10 transports......and oh the cost of spares will increase fast too....from the point of the russians indians are ungrateful lot...they were given cheap planes for almost nothing and they ran to the west...well let them pay the prices...hahaha...the number of planes in IAF will decrease in the next 10 yrs even with increasing budget....and they will have to bow to uncle as well.

Anonymous said...

India must aim to become fully independent of Russia. Forget 1971 -- today is not 1971 -- for the next war that India has, Russia will be unreliable.

Anonymous said...

The Indian AWACS is also based on the IL airframe .. What about that billions of investment .. Is it because of this the reason that the IAF is shopping (again!) for a new AWACS ?